When I was a child, one of the jobs my mom had was working in a needle arts store. As a result, I learned many creative ways to work with fabric and my hands. My favorites were needlepoint and counted cross-stitch, but I also learned embroidery, knitting, crewel, candlewicking, you name it. The only thing I never learned how to do was crochet. Why? Because my great-grandma Anna was a crocheter. And for some reason (which remains a mystery to me to this day) mom and Grandma thought it would be an awesome idea to have great grandma teach me how to crochet.
I’m betting you can guess from my tone and my subtle use of the sarcasm font that this was really a terrible idea. Why? By the time I was old enough to learn such things, great grandma was pushing 80 or 85. She was a very angry, bitter old woman who was second generation American, which meant that when she was mad (which was often) she swore in German. Swearing in general, when you’re a kid, can be a little scary. But there is something infinitely more terrifying about having vulgarities flung at you in German. She also liked to smack hands. If you weren’t doing something right, she did not hesitate to take a little swing at you. And she was easily frustrated.
You can see where this is going.
I will say that she had an amazing skill at crocheting. A skill that was made all the more amazing by the fact that she could not read a pattern. If she saw something at one of those craft sales that she thought looked cool, she’d buy it, take it apart to see how the stitches went together, and then crochet it back together.
The woman had some mad skillz. She was also just mad. Which I guess could also be a skill. Anyhoo….
My lessons with great grandma did not go well, and usually involved me in tears while she screamed German swear words at me while slapping my hand for doing the stitches wrong. As an adult, I was happy to embrace knitting and needlepoint again, but never deigned to pick up another crocheting needle.
I started to make the watermelon
I started tentatively and it took several (thousand) tries, but eventually I made a chain.
I followed the directions, and it sorta came out like the picture, but I’m still not fully convinced I did it right. At least this time I wasn’t accosted by German swears and hand slapping, so even if it’s not correct, it’s still better than last time.
My end result versus the picture. Please note the thumb that shows you the scale we’re talking about. I think I’d have been happier with the result if it had been a little bigger. And actually didn’t have that weird dip in the middle.
The instructions could have been a little clearer, and I think the size of the object made a difference on how I was able to make it, but overall it wasn’t a bad introduction back into crocheting. I still think I’ll go check out Happy Hooker, the book by the same woman that wrote Stitch ‘N Bitch. That book helped me regain my knitting skills, so I imagine she can gently guide me back to the art of crocheting as well.
Overall, I’ll give it a passing grade. Not ideal, but for someone just trying it (or recovering from past traumas involving yarn) it’s a fairly good intro to hooking.
Not that kind of hooking. Gawd you guys. Get your minds outta the gutter!