Brochet: Four men and their dream to crochet a scarf – Part I
Here at the LoveCrafts headquarters, a few of the men in the office were feeling a bit left out. We didn’t know how to knit or crochet, and it began weighing on us. Luckily, Merion, one of our resident experts, was kind enough to teach us how to crochet our own scarves. Follow along with us as we take on this new challenge.
We began our journey by choosing which chunky yarn we wanted. Aldo decided on James C. Brett Chunky with Merino – 20, Matthew chose Paintbox Yarns Simply Chunky in Granite Grey, Ed went with Katia Peru – 13, and I opted for the Adriafil Scozia in Moss Green. The orange Lang Yarns Merino 70 that you see in the photo above proved to be a little tricky to crochet for us beginners, so we left that beautiful color for Merion to work on.
After only 10 minutes or so of instruction from Merion, we were all off and rearing to go. Merion started the chain for each scarf, and then we began with our half treble (half double in the US) stitches. It was much easier than I expected, but at the beginning I was still getting the hook caught as I pulled it through the three loops at the end of each stitch.
I asked the other guys for their thoughts after their initial foray into crocheting, and here’s what they had to say:
What were your initial thoughts about learning how to crochet?
Aldo: I was slightly intimidated, to say the least. My grandma can crochet all kinds of projects with incomprehensible speed. The image of a ball of yarn unravelling and bouncing on the floor as she whips up a hat is ingrained into my mind. I had struggled with knitting before and was skeptical about the idea that crocheting would be a lot easier and faster.
Ed: I thought it would be an incredibly useful skill to have and I was chuffed to bits that I was given the chance to learn it under such expert supervision. Also, Christmas is very much on the horizon so I wanted to crochet up some heartfelt/cost-effective gifts for my family and friends.
Matthew: (Matthew had a head start on the rest of is, as he’d previously crocheted a bit). The only item I have successfully crocheted so far is a multi-coloured cushion cover. I taught myself soon after I worked on the launch of our LoveCrochet site using children’s ‘How to Crochet’ books, which I absolutely recommend to anyone learning from scratch at any age. They really break down the steps and use simple language compared with books aimed at an older audience.
Q: Was it difficult to remember the stitch when Merion wasn’t there to help?
Aldo: It wasn’t difficult at all to remember the stitch after learning it. There are very few steps involved and it’s easy to get the hang of after visualising how and why the hook and yarn work together.
Ed: Merion made it so ludicrously simple and easy to follow and had the patience of a saint so it was firmly embedded in my mind.
What has been the hardest part of learning to crochet so far? The easiest?
Aldo: There have been two difficult parts to learn. The first one was how to hold the hook, the yarn and the work comfortably in my hands in a way that allowed me to crochet fluently. I’ve found that holding the hook like a knife and focusing on keeping the yarn tight has been the most helpful. The second obstacle, without a doubt, has been drawing the yarn and hook through all three loops. Merion made it look incredibly smooth and elegant, but I’ve resorted to wiggling through the loops one by one. On the positive side, I’ve been quite pleased with how consistently the stitches have turned out.
Ed: As we’re tackling a half treble I’ve found the most difficult part whipping the final loop through without snagging something along the way. I’ve found the easiest part to be hooking the second loop back in on itself. Apologies if I’m butchering the crochet terminology with my tortured attempt at describing this!
Matthew: For me the easiest part was learning the stitches, there are only a small number of them and I found it easier to learn the hand-eye coordination than when learning to knit. Definitely the hardest part has been understanding the crochet pattern terminology – the first thing I tried to crochet was a trendy beanie hat in neon yarn. Unfortunately I didn’t understand the pattern terminology correctly and increased on each row twice as much as was specified. My hopeful naivety about the easiness of the project slowly faded as my nascent hat-ling developed into a cotton cuttlefish with undulating fins! It would make a great quirky fascinator for a wedding though 🙂
How far are you on your scarf after 24 hours? Are you enjoying crocheting?
Aldo: In one day, I can get through about two or three rows. The sense of flow from managing to navigate the hook through the correct chain and drawing the yarn through the loops with ease multiple stitches in a row is extremely satisfying. So far, progress has been slow and steady, but I’m looking forward to the finished scarf. I can see myself crocheting in the long term, as well!
Ed: Following impressing my mates at the pub on Tuesday night with the two rows that Merion completed on my behalf, I’ve managed to tackle my own, incredibly loose row which has unfortunately thrown the tension right out of the window. I’m having a cracking time learning to crochet however, and I feel as though I’m just scratching the surface of this exciting world.
Well, as you can see, we have clearly taken to this whole “brochet” world, and are all really excited to finish our first projects. Make sure you check out Part II to see just how far we’ve come!