Last night I took a crochet class at one of my favorite indie craft stores, Stitch Lab. I’ve taken a couple of sewing classes here and they were a lot of fun. Fiancé got me a gift certificate for my birthday last year and I’ve been wanting to use it before the shop closes in February 😦 There have been hints that they might stay open…I am crossing all fingers and toes that this is the case!
As I was heading to Stitch Lab last night, the weather was all, “You know what’s fun? Driving in the dark with torrential downpour, on a freeway with lots of construction! LET’S DO THIS.” It certainly wasn’t the worst drive I had in the rain, but I was definitely glad to pull up in the Stitch Lab parking lot last night. Of course, cue another round of heavy rain just as I was exiting my vehicle, so I walked into lab soaked and smelling like a wet cat.
Luckily, the Lab is very cozy and had an assortment of hot beverages. I made myself some tea to warm up, and we started class. I’ve done crochet in the round before, but it’s something I’ve struggled with. The only time my family ever said, “Thanks but no thanks” to one of my makes was a hat I’d crocheted. I really wanted some tips for improvement, especially since I’d like to try amigurumi in the near future. And a lot of the Little Box of Crochet patterns I have are in the round, so it’ll make completing those projects a lot easier if I learn now.
Since I’ve been making knitted hats lately, I noticed a BIG difference in terms of how much you have to count with knit versus crochet. With the knitted hats I’ve been making, the patterns have been very easy – either stockinette stitch the entire round, or knit 2/purl 2 to make ribs. There’s a LOT more counting with crochet in the round, even with the most basic pattern. I had to undo many a round since I forgot a double crochet in one of the stitches, or incorrectly inserted a stitch somewhere. That part was frustrating. But our teacher was very kind and patient and would help us when we got stuck. If she had to unravel our round to figure out what we did, she crocheted the round back up for us. There are at least two rounds of my hat completed by my teacher.
But it’s done! Look how pretty.
This picture is pretty dorky because for whatever reason, I decided to wear the hat with the flower right on my forehead, instead of on the side like a reasonable human being. I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease, Thick and Quick in Glacier for my hat. (I swear I’m not being sponsored by Lion Brand. I just really like their yarns). It was pretty eye-opening to see how quickly I could finish a project if I focused on it. I tend to jump from project to project, but I made this hat in just under 3.5 hours.
I have to admit that the first round of the flower was completed by my teacher too. The first round called for 20 half double crochet stitches and they looked like an incoherent mess when I was done with them. She valiantly try to separate them before undoing the round and redoing the stitches.
Another thing I need to work on is making a coherent seam. I placed my flower on the seam to hide some funky stitches. I think my issue is not using a consistent spot to slip stitch into at the end of each row. But that’s the whole beauty of this process, right? Our first makes when we learn a new technique are not going to be perfect. We just have to keep going. Like my teacher said last night to one of my classmates, “This is not the last hat you are going to make.”
Plus, I bet if you were passing me in the street, you would not notice the wonky stitches unless I pointed them out to you. I hope.
The part I’m most excited about is a technique she taught us to do magic circle. I’ve always been mystified by magic circle and it’s always been a struggle for me. The way she taught us was really easy. Let me practice with it; if I feel like I have a good handle on it, I’ll put it as a tutorial here.
I’ll see you Friday! I hope you are staying warm and cozy! If you are making your own hats, I’d love for you to share details!