First Crochet Project Ever

That would be *MY* First Finished Crochet Project ever.

What a great start to the new year. Maybe I’ll finish settling up the loom this year too! :) (Yes, it’s been patiently waiting all year for me to finish setting it up!)

But staying on topic, I’ve been practicing crochet for about five years now…well, with only a few official practice sessions a year, mind you. And I just keep returning. Something about the colors, the hooks, the fibers and all the great projects I see online.

That and I convinced myself long ago that I would crochet as my mom has, and I would do at least some of the amazingly neat projects I’ve seen in my short life. And,last but certainly not least, ages ago I decided that one way mothers have managed to *possibly* not dread bedtime with little kids was by doing exactly what so many children’s books depict. Yes–Mama huddled in front of the computer ignoring the kids at long last! (NO! That’s what WE do these days. Or at least I enjoy it certainly.) No, really. It’s mama rabbit or bear or bird (you fill in the character) sitting there, knitting needles in hand, quietly busying herself while the littles fall asleep peacefully in a bed nearby. Yes, the perfect mixture of creativity, productivity and closeness that we all desire…and yet my three are now entering “bigger” kid status and I’m still not there. Crochet in the dark?! Not yet my dears.

Now, in regards to the two main forms of fiber handicraft (felting omitted for simplicity’s sake), my attempts at knitting have been…ummm, unsuccessful without another knitter nearby. And you don’t even want to see my furiously attempting to figure out how to knit via youtube. I’m sure it was hilarious to anyone who saw it. And, it didn’t work.

So crochet. The handcraft my own mom has busied herself with since I was a baby, yet never managed to teach me until I sat her down at my house a few years ago and got her to share with me the details of the fast-moving finger motions she’d mastered long long ago. And I should add, I’m not the best learner of new physical skills. You know, skills that require your fingers to wrap this and then that and then pull and turn and flip and pull through.

But with patience on my mom’s part…I finally got the order of it all…and promptly forgot. Every single detail. So I pulled out the helpful 70’s Sunset Crochet book that’s been my companion and relearned it…and another year later, forgotten. It kind of reminds me of my life-long journey to learn chess. Learn. Forget. Learn. Forget. But, each time I’ve relearned crochet I’ve gotten better. And with each attempt my stitch has gotten smoother. I’d hook a few rows (not sure if that’s the crochet-lingo for it!), and then seeing I was onto something, let the kids unravel to their hearts delight. (Or sometimes I unraveled myself because I love the swift pluck of a good unraveling!) The idea of committing any yard to an end has been beyond daunting to me. The last thing I need is to turn a perfectly potentially useful skein of yarn into a piece of homemade junk in this house.

Last year I decided on yet another of our road trips that I’d figured out crochet. And maybe get along further with it. And as I’d figured out a few years back that synthetic yarns felt yucky to my fingers, followed by why not to use dark grey as your beginner yarn (ack, you can’t see a thing for a learner’s eye), on this trip I decided I wasn’t stitching right. No matter how I read the directions, I finally determined I was skipping something important. So, in San Luis Obispo while zipping through town I saw a the Nordic Mart, a little knitting store with a drool-worthy shawl out front and told my husband to pull over. (And to be honest, my Norwegian-heritage made me do it. Nordic? Oooh.)

But my plan was to jump out, ask for help and return to the car with a firm understanding of the most basic of all crochet stitches.

Instead I entered into the beauty of natural dyes and yarns, talked with someone there, who gratefully showed me that I was doing it exactly right…but my needle could be sized down a bit. And to be reminded for those few minutes of the effortless calm that crochet can be, opposed to the contorted, wrist-aching struggle I’d been having that afternoon in the car, was worth more than any drool-worthy shawl. So I walked out with a new yarn (dusty calm blue, of course) and a new inspiring crochet hook. My future crochet inspiration most definitely.

And I crocheted my heart out on that trip…until I realized that my “dishcloth” was actually so small that I’d never use it. Then I set it aside and let myself stew over what to use it as. Because I determined that after five years of practice, I really should just finish something finally. Maybe it’d help me progress.

So, after help from my mom on how to salvage the odd size…here it is: my first *finished* crochet project. Only a year in the works! Perhaps I’ll feel brave enough to create a Ravelry profile soon. Um, maybe after I complete one more project. Gulp.

Now, the big question of the day–add a button in the center or not? I think it’d add some dimension…a nice medium-sized wooden button. But, I’m imagining I wouldn’t like it on a hot pad while grabbing things. Thoughts? Opinions? Cheerio.

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