Ten things I wish they had told me about crochet before I started…

Ok, so this week I should have a free pattern for you. But I don’t, because I can’t for the life of me find out where I wrote the pattern notes. I THINK they’re on my computer somewhere, but I can’t remember what I called the file and apparently I had a logic fail that day because searching what I should have called it is giving me zilch. This probably means I wrote it on a piece of paper, and then it’s ended up in the pile next to me. The pile is not easily navigable without mucho noise, and I need to be quiet cos the other half is feeling ill so is sleeping upstairs at the mo.

Check back next week for awesomeness! I’ll try to be extra awesome to make up for it!

So instead, what I thought I’d do today was a list of things I wish I’d been told before I started this whole crazy adventure in yarn. Hopefully it will give some incite into the brain of Amiguruthi, a few laughs and – maybe – some good advice for any crochet noobs out there!

1) At some point you will end up with one less stitch that you should have and you will have NO IDEA where it’s gone.

Even if you unravel every stitch in the piece and go right back to the start. It’s just disappeared into the land of dropped stitches. To avoid this, try learning your times tables, especially your six times table, and all the others up to ‘[number] x6’ You’ll notice that most of my patterns are based around row multiples of six, which seems to be quite standard in the crochet community. It took me months of frustration working out stitch counts before I realised that I was basically making hexagons, and that all I needed to know was ‘row number x 6 =stitch count’ AND it tellsAAAA you were to put your increases and decreases. This is one of the reasons I always put the count at the end of each line – because when I started, I had a lot of oddly shaped work and bald patches from tearing out my hair when I used patterns that didn’t include this helpful hint!

2) When you finally cave and buy that crochet mag with the free yarn and equipment, it will be a hook you have a million of and the patterns inside will be crap.

I’m not bashing crochet mags here, they can be excellent. But it’s always the case that the excellent stuff was in the issue before the one you bought, as you can see from all the gorgeous reader photographs. To balance this one out – awesome yarn!

3) At some point you will design something, then see the exact same thing on Ravelry a week later.

You will let out a sound roughly translated as ‘duewhfQWFIWHF!’ as you decide instantly that someone has copied your design and even more insultingly is charging $3 for people to see what you’re giving away free. And then you’ll click through to have a look and notice that actually it’s not that much like your own, it’s actually a damned good pattern worth the cost, and – most likely – it was created three years before yours. Then you will feel bad for doubting a fellow hook ninja and have to beat your ego with chocolate.

4) At some point, you will reveal your hobby to the wrong person and be called a granny.

There are two ways to deal with this one. If you ARE a granny then you can smile and offer them a Worthers Original (butterscotch candy for the American readers). If you’re not, then laugh, walk away and pity them, for they do not know of the awesomeness that is crochet. Also, you’re never going to make anything for them ever now, so they’ve lost out big time.

5) Bamboo crochet hooks are pretty, smooth for the first three uses, and then will split a tiny hairs width and be annoying as all hell.

If anyone knows of a varnish I can use then let me know – I’m considering just coating the ends of mine with nail polish.

6) Don’t bother buying the full set of ten crochet hooks – you will only ever need a 3.5mm for DK/worsted weight yarn, a 6mm for chunky yarn, a 2mm for sports weight yarn or crochet cotton and possibly a really tiny one if you want to get into doily making.

This is possibly just a phenomenal faced by amigurumi makers, but I have personally never touched any of my other hooks, except the 3mm one I picked up by mistake when going on the train, and that felt WEIRD.

7) There is a goblin out there who is called Frank and his only purpose in life is to steal your stitch markers. He is closely related to the sprite Amelia who makes off with your yarn needle and Hassan the imp who hides your crochet hook and scissors for brief windows of time after you put them down for like two seconds, and then puts them back in the most obvious place ever to make you feel like an idiot..

These three critters are going to visit you a lot, and no matter how much you beseech them or blame the cat they will not leave once you have purchased your first ball of yarn. Get used to them, try making a sacrifice of whatever your crafting snack is whenever you sit down to crochet – it may appease them for a session.

Yes, you WILL cultivate a crafting snack.

8) Half finished projects will gnaw at your soul.

I’m glad I don’t really do huge pieces, because the torment of having an eyeless, legless ami staring at me whenever I dare to put down the hook or run out of yarn is almost more than I can take…

9) You’ll never look at clothing made of yarn in the same way again.

You will see something gorgeous which would look perfect on you. You’ll pick it up, caress it, and be gripped with a longing so intense it beats the McDonalds craving you get when you have no money in the bank. Then you’ll put it back on the rack and say to yourself ‘I could make something like that for a fraction of the price’. I’ll level with you here – you probably won’t and if you do, getting good quality yarn will probably make your version cost much much more than if you’d just bought the original. Don’t deprive yourself, buy the one you saw. Doubly so if it’s at a craft fair and you can speak to the person who made it, because then you’re supporting a small business and that makes it worth the cost right? You have to buy one, because that’s just being nice. *Hides the receipt from the boyfriend*.

10) The crochet community is the most supportive bunch of people you will ever meet, and it’s worth the annoyance of dropped stitches, snapped hooks, goblin stolen equipment, patterns that you can’t afford and wool you couldn’t justify buying just so that you can spend even ten minutes talking to such lovely ladies (and the odd great gent).

Start a blog, get a Facebook page and join the madness because honestly you’ll never look back. They’re even more friendly than the Bronies.

And just for two little extras:

11) Don’t attempt to move the cat.

She WILL sit on your crochet if she damned well pleases no matter what you do, say or scream.

12) Everyone out there is obsessed with owls.

No I don’t know why either, just go with it.

Anyone want to add any? Feel free in the comments!

25 thoughts on “Ten things I wish they had told me about crochet before I started…

    • No that’s totally me too! I tend to be ok if the ami was specifically made as a gift, but if I’ve just randomised it there’s a sort of Gollum style ‘my presiousssssss’ feel to it!

  1. LOL! These are great! I totally agree with you that many people are obsessed with owls. They are cute and all, but I don’t get how these “trends” happen and just grow and grow until they get burned out and you totally get sick of seeing them. But of course, not until you’ve had your hand at making your own little version of one. LOL. I have totally had those same thoughts when finding things on Ravelry that were similar to mine. And even when there are just three things out there that I’ve never made but are similar to eachother and one person is charging $3 while the other two are free and then you realize you don’t even NEED a pattern at all to make the thing. It can get crazy. But this is an awesome list and totally wise! Love it!

    • I can’t see why owls, but one of my mates is a huge fan of them and turtles, so I suppose it takes all sorts! Something new will come along soon lol.
      It does give me pause when you compare some paid for patterns and some freebies and there’s very little difference. My inner skeptic says ‘who copied who?’ but my inner yarn lover just says ‘yay!’. Or like you say, tries to work out how I’d make my own version anyway 🙂

  2. Pingback: Yarndango Project 26 – Tiddles | madcrochetlab.com

  3. I have hooks up to 25mm and have used them all at least twice so 😛 to number 6.

    My added rule is: if you design a pattern with a full circle skirt DO NOT decide “I need to make two others with different neck lines” it will end in tears

  4. SMILE!!!! That was awesome Ruth I loved it…. I have been crocheting for 35 years and I use all my hooks. My favorite it my stainless steel size 9 that I use with 20 sized thread… finish is worn off and it is bent…

    One of my current WIP’s is your porkball…. I am making it for my 15 y/o daughter. she pissed me off so now she has to wait for it!

    Thanks for the laugh


    • I’m amazed how many people are saying the use the other hooks, I might have to start experimenting with mine now!
      I had to giggle at your withholding the porkball piggy as punishment! Hopefully you don’t make her wait too long, I’d love to see a photo of your version 😀

  5. Pingback: Yahtzee Zero Punctuation (Free Pattern) | Amiguruthi

  6. OMG this post is hilarious! I just stumbled across your blog for the first time but quickly subscribed and am enjoying reading recent posts. I’ve been crocheting less than six months and can relate to most of these!

    • Thank you- glad to tickle you! 😀
      I love how this post is striking a cord with people who are both very experienced and new to the craft. Welcome to the best hobby on earth lol x

  7. I just want to tell you that I am just new to blogging and site-building and absolutely savored this blog site. More than likely I’m going to bookmark your blog post . You really come with fantastic article content. Thanks for sharing your blog.

  8. jeweJust came upon your blog and so far I have loved everything I have seen. I am just a beginner and want to make so many things I’m not ready for keep telling myself…. Someday! But one thing I have noticed about this post is the cat….. I have a pug and as soon as I pull out my yarn and make a mess on the couch next to me here he comes either on my lap or on my yarn lol its like I’m spose to pay attention to him not my Crocheting lol ugh pets love them but they just love to drive us crazy lol. Ty for the tip on bamboo too been curious and wanting to try but not no more ill stick with my steel with rubber grip around it. 🙂

  9. LOL. Also guilty of being obsessed with owls.

    Loved this post – it’s all so true, especially the bits about the imp and sprite. Mostly I drop my hook unexpected and the yarn needles go awol.

    This is a good blog and your patterns are very, very nice. I have a blog, but I’m not happy with the name. Hence why I don’t have a Facebook page. When I’m set up, I’ll send you a link. You seem to be a fun person. ^_^ Cheers.

    • Ah so you’re one of them then! 😉 And I dread to think how many AWOL yarn needles there must be in the world lol.
      Definitely link me up, I love meeting new bloggers 😀 x

      • Hi! Sorry for such a late reply. I’ve set up on Blogger, but no posts yet. Would be my pleasure to link you soon though. I wonder if I should have set up on WordPress instead. Any advice? I’d appreciate it. ^_^

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