A few weeks ago I sneaked in another beginners class which refreshed what I'd forgotten plus showed me the way avoid my rounds getting wavey and my squares triangular. But of course, beginners classes are great to get you started but you only really learn by practising it, and that's where life usually takes over with endless stuff that momentarily is more important thank picking up a hook and concentrating on the slow progress of a beginner.
Enter Crochet Camp.
What can I say? It's basically just what the doctor ordered, an online community of people right into crochet, from total beginners to what I would say advanced masters of the hook (some creations look super advanced to me but what do I know?), everyone is super supportive, brought to you by Kat Goldin, crocheter and designer extraordinaire.
There is something that really works for me, no longer have I got to trail across the city to find a crochet group or work myself through blurry youtube videos and still end up not entirely sure where to insert the hook. Instead, I can follow simple patterns at my own pace, be inspired by the more complex creations, but also able to step by step get more confident. Just being part of it motivates me to pick up the hook even when I'm shattered at the end of a day.
Of course, it's slow progress, but because the camp is so successful and has now well over 1000 people, nobody is behind or ahead, as everyone works at their own pace and there's no pressure, just motivation to have something to show as well. I like the structure too, which is loose, but following the weekly patterns gives me something to work towards which is doable and takes away the difficulty of choice (when you have to choose THE pattern you want to tackle next amongst the thousands that you could be doing from a book or ravelry). It's a bit of "just do it".
And if you get stuck, you can ask a question and your problem will be sorted in minutes.
This week there's a show and tell on Slugs on the Refrigerator, which in turn got me blogging again to show off (ahem) my first crochet creations. I'm still learning but I can see it falling into place and I totally understand now where I went wrong in my first projects.
My first ever project was a t-shirt yarn rug. Wavey (and I frogged the first attempt because it was even wavier) but still treasured in the castle den by the girls.
Second, a t-shirt yarn basket which is actually not bad, and I plan to make more of these as they are extremely handy.
Next, a crochet flower, done just after Kat's crochet beginners lesson that I attended. This is also the current project on Crochet Camp.
And finally at Crochet Camp, a potholder, and a bag in progress (I also made my first granny square but the yarn is dark and not very exciting).
I finally no longer feel that I'm holding the yarn in the wrong hand (strangely, although I learned to knit from my (German) mother, she taught me the "British" way), and I can work myself through a simple pattern now (haven't tackled charts quite yet). What's great too is that my kids love the colourful creations, much more than they like my knitting, so I've got a feeling that this bag won't be mine. Or maybe I'll have to make 3. I've definitely reached the point where I'm dusting off my crochet books and feel at home with the hook, rather than throwing it in the corner in frustration and returning to the needles as I used to do every time I tried to crochet.
Now onwards to tackle some charts, and have a closer look at the details that so far didn't bother with. Above all, I'm looking forward to finally tackling some of the project that have been tempting me for years.