Completed: Crochet project bag and some adventures in crochet

A couple of weeks ago I started to learn crochet. What, crochet? And you didn’t like knitting, why would you even try crochet? And do you really need another hobby? Well, I want to have some projects that I can easily take with me on the train. While you can technically take hand-sewing projects on the train I find this a bit too much trouble because you need to bring thread, needles, pins, scissors and a bag to put all the cut off threads in because I don’t want to litter and then I’m constantly worrying that I’m dropping pins all over the place and that someone else will sit in them. A knitting or crochet project requires much less stuff and I think these might work better for travel related crafting. I’ve tried knitting twice and both times this wasn’t very successful so crochet (only 1 hook!) seemed like the better option.

The truth is, while fabric and sewing come quite naturally to me, yarn doesn’t. I’ve taken loads of Craftsy courses and for the sewing ones I usually watch the whole course once before starting on a project and then while I’m making the project I’ll watch it again. Tricky parts I might rewatch a third time and then I’ll know what to do. Not with crochet. I’m enrolled in Vicky Howell’s Crochet Lab course and I must have watched the single crochet class at least a dozen times already.

These are my first efforts where I quickly decided that it would probably be better to just start over:

I can’t believe I’m showing you these…

Then I produced this:

It looks like crochet but weren’t you supposed to make a square?

And then this:

It might be somewhat irregular but it approaches squareness.

Then I figured I was ready to try double crochet. I almost crocheted a whole swatch in what I thought was double crochet but what turned out to be a self-invented stitch. I did wonder why my double crochet was much tighter than the single crochet (it’s supposed to be looser) and didn’t look like what Vicky was doing before I realized that I was skipping a quite essential step. And that was after I had already looked at Vicky doing this stitch a dozen times at least. Ah well, after my invented stitch that was quite tricky to do, the real double crochet was a breeze.

At least I was able to figure out what I was doing wrong…

Now I am ready to tackle a double crochet scarf and for this I clearly need a crochet project bag that I can use to store my project in while travelling.  Enter some sewing (after all, this is meant to be a sewing blog!). I made a zipper pouch with boxed corners and three pockets on the inside. One zipper pocket, one pocket that was cut diagonally at the top and is divided into several narrow pockets so that it fits several sizes crochet hooks and one patch pocket on the other side. The outside fabric is interfaced with fusible fleece to give it enough body to stand upright on its own. It fits two really huge balls of yarn and I think it will be very useful to help me stay organised.

There are some crochet related things that I find quite strange. For example, it is bad enough that UK and US English uses a different spelling, but why, why, do you use different words to describe the same thing??? And in different conversion charts I also found different terms and abbreviations. I’ve decided to stick to the US crochet terms because that is what is used in the Craftsy class and I don’t want to complicate my life.

crochet hooksRight now I have 2 crochet hooks from the brand KnitPro, 5 mm and 10 mm. Obviously, the hooks have a different thickness, but why do they also change the size (length and thickness) of the handle? Do they think my hand changes size when I change yarn thickness? As it is, I much prefer to hold the 10 mm hook because it is longer and thicker. The 5 mm really feels too short and my hand gets a bit cramped if I use it for too long. I think I should also try some other brands to find out what works best for me. Does anyone have suggestions?

And now it is time to get started on my scarf, will I get it finished during Christmas? Only time will tell…

December 24, 2013

Emmely Treffers

About Emmely

I am a sewing enthusiast from the Netherlands. I live in the Leiden area with my husband and two daughters and I am currently working as a senior researcher in molecular virology. With my quilting patterns and sewing blog I want to infect as many people as possible with my love for sewing.

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21 Comments

  1. onedabbles

    Your crochet project bag is just lovely. Very cute. If you’re not too busy in the future, would you be able to post a tutorial?

    As for the crocheting – it is great to have a project you can travel with. I’m not brilliant at crochet but I can do it and the good thing is that it is much more forgiving when you make a mistake than knitting. Very easy to undo and pick up again. And if you master squares, you don’t have a large project to carry around.

    Good luck and I hope you have fun with your new projects.

    Reply
    • Emmely

      Thank you! I might turn it into a pattern as I did find the bag very useful while travelling during Christmas. I also managed to finish my scarf but I need to take some pictures first before I can show it. Because I used very thick yarn it turned out to be a very quick project.

      Reply
  2. Ali

    I’m REALLY impressed! A few months ago I bought some wool and a crochet hook after seeing a bag in a magazine I wanted to make. I’d never crocheted before and thought I’d just be able to follow the illustrations.
    How wrong was I?!?!
    It was so hard. I couldn’t even get started. The following week a friend tried to show me. I just didn’t have enough hands.
    I’ve not attempted it since but would love to learn. Looking forward to seeing how you get on with it! 😀

    Reply
    • Emmely

      That sounds very much like my knitting experiences!!! I
      I’m quite surprised that after only a week and a couple of practice squares I’ve already completed my double crochet scarf! I didn’t even make that many mistakes and it went quite fast. I can really recommend the Craftsy course if you want to give crochet a second change. It is aimed at complete beginners in crochet and I found it very helpful that I could watch Vicky do the moves over and over again because I am definitely a slow learner in this area…

      Reply
      • Ali

        Might give a go, if it doesn’t work out, how about I knit you something and you can crochet me something! 😀

        Reply
        • Emmely

          I’m not sure that my crochet skills are good enough yet to make something to give to someone else… But since I don’t think I’ll try knitting again soon that might work when my skills have moved beyond simple scarves. 😉

          Reply
          • Ali

            I’ve bitten the bullet and signed up!!! Will get some supplies and give it a go!
            Thanks for blogging about it, it’s great to find things out from people who’ve tried it.
            You’ll have to upload your projects to Craftsy!

          • Emmely

            I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, Vicky’s explanations are very clear. I still need to take some pictures of my scarf but I’ll definitely post it on Craftsy.

          • Ali

            Hi Emmely,
            I can crochet!! Whoop whoop! I’ve made the swatches and a granny square!
            Thankyou for adding the post otherwise I wouldn’t have tried the crafty course. Ali 😀

          • Emmely

            That’s brilliant! You’re ahead of me now, I still need to tackle the granny square but ran out of yarn.

  3. Deborah

    I love Craftsy courses! I can knit and crochet, but I agree that crocheting is much more forgiving! Good luck to you. Thanks for posting!

    Reply
  4. Deborah

    One thing about the hand cramping. As you get more comfortable with the stitches, you will hold the hook less tightly. You may have close to a death grip on it while you’re learning. That does ease up over time. In the meantime, the larger the better. You can use smaller hooks once you can hold the hook in a more relaxed way. Hope that helps.

    Reply
    • Emmely

      I think you’re probably right. I did notice that the last couple of rows for my scarf went a whole lot smoother than the first. I used a 10 mm hook, US size N and I’ll just practice some more until I get really comfortable.

      Reply
  5. oneprojecttogo

    Keep it up and those stitches will come alive. Next on my list is to learn how to sew so I can combine the textile. I like the fabric for the bag it reminds me of the bobble crochet symbol.

    Reply
    • Emmely

      I still like sewing best but I’m certain I’m going to keep working on crochet projects as well! The fabric is from the Curious Nature collection from FreeSpirit. I really like it and didn’t realise the print looks like a crochet symbol, that makes it even more suitable!

      Reply
      • Davina

        🙂 yes it does

        Reply
  6. oneprojecttogo

    Reblogged this on One Project at A Time and commented:
    Oh the joys of looking back at your first project and comparing it to now. I know I’ve made some disasters like making a hat for a baby that ended up the size of a giant, lol. My sister has now picked up the crochet hook and shares her first projects with me. They are quite different but we all started out that way. She laughs at the fact that she can show me a picture of yarn and I can tell her which brand it is. In time, we will all reach the level of satisfaction that we want to achieve.

    Reply
  7. Amanda Pants

    I recently spent some money and bought some ergonomic hooks from a seller on Etsy. The handles are handmade and quite thick on all the hook sizes and that has made a huge difference to the wear and tear on my wrists and forearms after obsessive days of crochet! 😉

    Reply

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