This week's question: How do you continue to hone your craft (crocheting!)? Books, internet, magazines? What do you do to learn more?
I started crocheting when I was about 13, when everyone at that time was wearing crocheted vests, and berets and shawls. Of course, the first stitches I learned were the sc and dc. Once I mastered those, and yes, there was a lot of ripping out stitches, there was no stopping me. I think once someone learns those basic steps they are well on their way to a world of creative crocheting.
From those early days of shawls, etc, I began making afghans. Since I love antiques and collecting them, naturally I found a book of antique afghan patterns. The terminology was a little different, but knowing those few beginning stitches I originally had learned, I was able to follow the directions, and make some very different afghans. I still use (or should I say my kids use) one of the first ones I made – so it is about 35 yrs old (the picture above). I love browsing through different books, and now look on the internet for patterns that are a little different. I am currently working on a little girl’s sweater using a pattern from 1956. I think in those days, they just took for granted that you knew what to do, because it explains each section, but no where does it explain how to put the pieces together – it is like a Chinese puzzle – all these little pieces, and I am trying every possible angle to assemble them. Hopefully it will be in my shop one day!
I do admit, as I have grown and find myself doing a lot more crocheting, I am working with a lot of different stitches I haven’t used before. My friend in India sent me some books on crochet patterns, and quilting patterns (which I do also) – truly great birthday presents, because they are both very useful. What I did with some of the crochet patterns I wasn’t familiar with – I did little practice pieces, which I save in the book where that particular pattern is – so when I do need to use that particular pattern – I have already worked it out, and am ready to take on any project. Also, if you want to take the easy route – just go into Google and type in that particular stitch - not only will you find explicit directions, plus most of them have a step by step video that you can follow. Now if they only can explain this 1956 sweater pattern!