Going over to the dark side
So about this time last year, I promised myself I would learn to crochet before my 40th birthday. I'm not sure why that seemed important to me, but it did, and just like pretty much every other resolution I've ever made, I let it slip almost immediately after making it. Other than purchasing a few crochet hooks in likely sizes and a copy of the Stitch 'n Bitch crochet book, I did nothing at all to forward this particular goal. I'm really good at shopping for resolutions, but not so good on the follow-through. Hey, I had the book, I had the tools, I had the time. Just not right now.
But there it was, Wednesday night, with about four hours of my thirties left. I was bored and not in the mood to work on any of my current knitting projects when I remembered the stupid resolution. My past attempts at learning how to crochet had all failed, but I thought, eh, what the hell. I poured a glass of wine and got out some smooth, reasonably tightly-spun DK weight, a 4 mm hook, and the book. And I did it. I carefully read the instructions, managed to hold everything right, remembered to keep the yarn in my left hand, and finally had the conceptual breakthrough I'd been missing in every previous attempt.
I made a long and ugly swatch of single, half-double, double, and then triple crochet. As I felt confident I'd conquered each stitch, I threw in a row of slip stitch and moved on to the next. Wonky as fuck, my gauge wildly off, and oh, so very ugly, nonetheless, I had something that was recognizably crochet when I put down my hook with 45 minutes to go until my deadline. And I've been plugging away at it ever since. As it turns out, crochet is a lot of fun. I like working with the hook, I like twirling it around and pulling it through, and I love the feeling of slowly and surely mastering a new skill.
The only problem is that crochet? Has almost no practical application to my life. Practically every crochet pattern I have ever seen has seemed to be tragically ugly. I cannot imagine a sweater made out of this stuff. I can all-too-easily imagine toilet paper covers and granny squares in hideous colour combinations. Doilies. When I was learning to crochet in a circle, I was all pleased with myself and my progress until I put it down, looked at it, and realised I had just basically made a doily. A doily in claret DK Cashsoft, so it was like, a nice doily, but a doily all the same. Me. Crocheting doilies. I should probably seek help.
Rightly or wrongly, crochet feels hopelessly naff to me, and yet, I cannot stop doing it. Those twirls and loops are just so goddamn much fun to make. It's addictive. I have ordered copies of every issue of Interweave Crochet I can find in the UK, in the hopes that there will be something in at least one of them that I actually want to crochet, and am willing to be seen wearing. That's how much fun this is. Crochet isn't a problem, I tell myself. I just need the right pattern, and then everything will be OK. The right pattern will save me. I have to believe that.
If I fail in my search, should you happen to come across me, wandering the aisles of Hobbycraft, clutching petrochemical yarn in my hands, please do me a favour and KILL ME.