Project crochet has been a success

I have to say that crochet is quite enjoyable.  I still am a fan of knitting- been doing it for many more years so it goes quickly. I think as I continue crocheting- it will actually work up considerably faster than knitting.  For me that’s a good thing: as my Grandma used to tell me, “Patience is not a virtue you were born with, and it’s not one you later acquired”

Here is my finished project.


I’m actually pretty happy with it.  Like knitting, the final product is ultimately decided based on the yarn choice made.  I like the colours and texture of this yarn, and it crocheted up quite quickly.

Although the result is small- it took considerable time to get to this point.

I started with just the single crochet.  It took a long time to find a video that I was finally happy with.  Many of them either moved too fast, or too slow.  I also struggled to find a video that I was happy with the voice of the person, or them telling me some big long story before we got to the task at hand.  In the end, I found one.

My single crochet took many attempts.  Not so much in figuring out how to form the stitch, but in getting the tension right so my work wasn’t completely lop sided.  I had to start with a small number of stitches so that I didn’t end up with too many or too few stitches by the time I got to the end of the row, (happened anyway- more than once). This was my favourite “teacher” and I found the videos easy to follow and pretty straight forward.  I also liked the fact that angle showed from overhead so I could see where the hook had to be inserted.  In addition to the videos, I found some other visuals that helped me out as well.

Double crochet actually took less time to figure out.  I was able to count my stitches better, and had better technique for holding the yarn and needle.  My way didn’t complete replicate anything that I had watched online, but it worked for me with results I could live with.

Feeling slightly cocky I moved on to the granny square.  This proved a difficult challenge.  I am wondering now if I would have chosen a lighter coloured yarn if it would have been easier to see.  There are apparently many variations on the granny square.  Honestly, I went with variation of the video that I liked.  It is posted in the blog post. Again, there were many that were simply so long, I knew there was no way it was holding my attention.  This video moved along quickly enough too in the beginning, but I just kept stopping and going back and eventually got it figured out.

The pattern I chose for my cowl was a half double crochet.  I actually learned this one using a book that I had borrowed.  I wouldn’t have been able to figure it out just from the book I don’t think if I didn’t have the other stitches down pat.

What I learned about learning a new skill online is that it takes some patience.  You have to invest a considerable amount of time in finding the tutorial video that matches your learning style and is paced in a way that works for you.  There are literally tens of thousands to go through, ok if I’m precise, 3 380 000.

You have to know yourself as a learner.  For example, I know that I am not patient at all- there is no way that I would use a video that is 30 minutes long to get started.  The other thing I figured out, was that I could eliminate a video pretty quickly just by the background music, the voice of the instructor, or if the video was simply to busy and distracting to me.  I can’t handle the animations and the zooming in and out- totally lose my focus.

What I learned about learning is that imagine if you are the kid in the classroom who doesn’t have the ability to rewatch a section where the teacher went too fast, or what about the teachers where you simply hate their voice, or the over the top theatrical teachers where there is no way to concentrate if you are a student like me.

The other missing link for me, is that no matter how many different videos I watched, or how many times I could re-watch, I would have appreciated someone there being able to help me out where I was stuck.  In many aspects it was good that I had to work through the trouble areas and figure it out, however, I can also see where some people would just chose to give up. What kept me working was that it was my desire to learn.  When learning solely online, I can see issues if the material is mandated to be learned rather than chosen.

Many people had such cool ideas for learning- things I didn’t even think about in terms of learning, like organizing closets, or learning ways to work towards healthier lifestyles.  Through sharing of what others were learning, it has inspired me to also take some time and learn a few new skills.  It again makes me realize the power and importance of sharing things.  I have taken some of these ideas and already started to rehash them for my own use!


Crocheted it till my fingers bled….

I got my first real cowl yarn,

Bought it at the Michael’s store,

Crocheted it till my fingers bled

Was the summer of ….


Ok, it’s actually winter.

Come on, no Bryan Adams fans in the group?

I can keep going for another stanza…


Me and some books and YouTube,

I concentrated and I tried real hard.

Didn’t quit, didn’t get angry,

Who would’ve know I’d ever make it this far.

Really- my finger did bleed.  Small tear in the nail got caught in the yarn and before I knew it, ended up with a very short, and very sore nail.  It made for some difficult crocheting from then on.

I am about 2/3 of the length of the cowl now.  It is pretty easy to see the beginning is the top of the picture.  My stitches have gotten quite a bit better as I have continued on.  Reading ahead in the pattern, I will have some figuring out to do on joining it together, and then on the stitches around the circle.  It is all single crochet at that point, and I’m good at the stitch now, just not too sure on following the pattern with it yet.

I am actually quite enjoying the project.  I have no doubt that this will not be the end of my crocheting.  I don’t know that I will ever get to the same level that I am with knitting, but I’ve been liking it none the less.


It might be a long, cold winter…

I have to say that I have been enjoying my project a little too much.  Too much time going into playing around with different stitches, and likely not enough on other things.

Where I am so far:


I can single crochet, double crochet, half double crochet and create a granny square.

I decided the weather is getting chilly, and who doesn’t like a scarf.  I found some nice yarn and decided that I would start on a project.


Apparently on a scale of easiness, this one shouldn’t be so bad.

and it turns out it isn’t.

Knowing how to knit and how to read a pattern was very helpful to me.  Even though the stitches are different, the idea is the same.  I also borrowed this book from a friend and it helped a lot with how to read the pattern and the abbreviations.

After about 4 hours, this is where I have gotten to:

The tension isn’t amazing, but generally it does look like the pattern is supposed to.  After completing the long straight part, there is an edging that goes around.  I’m hoping that will make it look a little more finished.

I have to pick up the pace a little to get this thing completed by the end of class.  It doesn’t move along too quickly!

granny square, granny square, what’s wrong with you?

My learning project is progressing.  I can’t say smoothly.

I was going back and forth between videos and written instructions.  This is because the video moves too fast for me- or too slow in some cases.  Some people clearly have created these things simply to hear themselves talk.

This is the video that I finally decided upon.  The music will grow on you I promise.  I found videos that last anywhere from 5 minutes to 25 minutes to complete the same task.  This one was somewhere in between, which is really why it became a main contender.  I don’t want to sit and listen for 10 minutes about why you took up crocheting on your own, or why you prefer one solid colour to the starburst pattern.  I am not a patient person that way, and just want to get to what I want to learn.  I also struggle with videos that have kids crying in the background, dogs barking, etc.

The pace on this video was good for where I am at.  If I hadn’t yet figured out the chain stitch and the double crochet stitch pretty decently, then I would really have struggled with the pace for these directions.  I find the videos helpful because I can just pause them until I catch up, although, like I said, this one worked out pretty well with the exception of the corners initially.  I have heard people say that the granny square is the first crocheting that they have done.  Not impossible, but I would suggest if you are learning it through a video, that I would start with the double crochet before attempting the granny square.

In the last few weeks I have been able to get the hang of both single and double crochet stitches.  As of late I have been tackling the granny square.  (Below is the photo of what it should look like, completed in one colour.)

Image result for granny square

According to many websites, It’s really easy to crochet a granny square.

I wouldn’t be bold enough to say they were lying- however easy is a relative term.  I will agree insofar as to say that it is getting easier.

To begin, I wasn’t able to get a square.  I was working more on a granny round.

I’m not going to lie.  It took many attempts to get a square going.

Even after finishing one full round and making a corner to start the next round, I continued to struggle to get onto the next round.  Once I discovered that my mistake was in the corner turn, it worked out.  Eventually, I was able to make it work out and complete one.

The stitches aren’t hard once you’ve figured it out, however getting the right tension remains slightly elusive for me. If it weren’t so frustrating, I could see how this would be a relaxing pass time!

This week I am going to complete my granny square Christmas dishcloth- wish me luck!

Double should only be a thing when related to espresso…

which coincidentally I may need before mastering the skill of crochet.

When given the task of finding a learning project I thought about it for a little while.  There are some things that interest me for classrooms, however since I don’t have my own class this year, I was thinking it may be difficult.  I am new to my school, and so was unsure of a teacher I could shoulder tap to work with, without giving them a bunch more work.  On top of that, I’m finding life pretty hectic right now, and it’s difficult some days to even commit to getting into classrooms for instructional walks let alone team teaching.

I thought about my current level of stress: it’s been high.  I wanted to find an activity that would be quiet and relaxing.



I actually do some colouring for relaxing from time to time.  But I decided I would give crocheting a try.

I am decently crafty, and have knitted since I was 5 or 6 years old.  My thought process was that really, how hard could it be?  Really, I’m pretty good at it:

If I can knit this, I should be crocheting pretty darn fast right?  WRONG

After approximately 7 693 812 attempts, ok thats a slight exaggeration and this is not about fishing, so I’ll scale it back a bit, (get it???).  Ok, after many videos and visuals, and several attempts, I managed to get the single crochet down:

admittedly, this is far from perfect when it comes to tension, but a couple rows none the less.

After several attempts:

and then several more:

I’m decently happy with my control over single crochet at this point.  My tension is staying pretty consistent, and I’m able to create more or less a piece that is not completely lopsided.

Then came the double:

After a few failed efforts, the only double I worried about was 40 proof.

A couple days later, picked it up again, and got a little farther:

Again, tension is getting  much better.

This week I will be focusing on the granny square.

What I know about learning a skill like this.  Knitting was much easier with my grandma there to correct my mistakes.  If I was wrong, she seen what I was doing wrong and could show me the right way.

I need a combination of ways to show me what to do.  The videos are great on the one hand because I can watch.  The downside is how fast they move.  It’s great I can watch them again and again, but I still find that I have to have a picture in front of me as well to figure out what I’m doing, as well as written instructions with illustrations.

At times I can see from my work that I am not correct, but I’m unsure of where my mistake is- this is what I find the most frustrating.

I have people I know who crochet, and I could ask for help, however I’m really trying to figure this out on my own with no face to face to truly get a better understanding of how feasible completely learning a new skill online is.