It’s finally resembling something like winter here and my fingers are itching for a wool project. Oh, there are the quilts I’m working on, and the dishcloths, and the long list of projects ‘to do’ but I have a hankering for some wool work.
I love having a hand project on the go. On one hand the repetitive nature of crocheting or knitting or hand sewing is relaxing and meditative. On the other, it make TV time seem more productive. I hate sitting idle in front of the telly.
Part of being frugal is living more independently, relying less on others to meet every single need. Being able to make some of your own clothes and household goods means that you are to some extent at least less reliant on big business (most of us still have to buy the wool, after all). Not that you have to learn to crochet in order to live frugally.
If you haven’t tried knitting or crocheting but want to learn, I’m going to be unconventional and say: try crocheting first. When you crochet, you are only working with one stitch at a time so you don’t have the problem of dropping stitches or trying to work backwards to fix mistakes, like you do with knitting.
My grandmother taught me to knit when I was about seven and crochet when I was about twelve years old. I had a hard time convincing her to teach me because I am left-handed and she said it would be too hard. She ended up teaching me to crochet right-handed instead.
I though I would share with you some of the crocheting projects I have made in the past. When I was around fifteen years old I crocheted the bed spread pictured above. The pattern, log cabin, is still my favourite. With the scraps I made this granny square cushion that I still use today and that our cat particularly likes.
I spent the winter when I was sixteen in the rocking chair above, crocheting the table cloth below (ok, I wasn’t exactly a conventional teenager). This table cloth won first prize in our local show, which would be more exciting if I hadn’t been the only entrant.
If you’re interested in learning to crocket, there is quite a good video series on 5min.com. While you can learn from a book, it makes it easier to actually watch someone do it. The series covers:
- An intro
- How to hold the hook and yarn (although I prefer the wrap around finger method)
- How to start your work
- Basic stitches
- How to make crochet fabric
- Increasing and decreasing; and
- Stitch variations
YouTube also has a whole heap of videos on crocheting.
It is important to note that like many things, Americans have different terminology to the rest of the world, so if you learn the American way and want to make an English or Australian pattern, or vice versa, you will need to convert the stiches. Crochet Australia has an easy conversion table.
If you’re looking for inspiration, I found some really good blogs dedicated to crochet:
While I like to crochet, I think that a little can go a long way. And I see I’m not the only one. I came across the blog What not to crochet. Some of the examples are pretty funny.
For now, there is a pot of stock on the stove, filling the house with it’s aroma and promising a good soup for dinner tonight, the baby is asleep and I have half and hour to sit in the sun with a pot of tea, a hook and some wool. For the Love of Crochet has a lovely Japanese flower afghan that I would like to try. Life can’t get any better than that.
Melissa Goodwin is a writer and the creator of Frugal and Thriving who has a passion for living frugally and encouraging people to thrive on any budget. The blog is nine years old and is almost like her eldest baby. Prior to being a blogger and mum (but not a mummy blogger), she worked as an accountant doing other people’s budgets, books and tax.