I learnt to crochet many many years ago (not far short of 50!). I never learnt to read a pattern, or to do fancy stitches. But that didn’t stop me starting my first ever business in Y2 at secondary school. Under the wooden benches in the chemistry lab mostly. During lessons. No wonder I didn’t turn out to be a scientist.
There was a fashion back then for long, white, crocheted scarves. I made one for myself, and then was asked to do them for friends. They bought the yarn, I made the scarves, and they gave me a small amount of pocket money for doing it.
Since then I have made a (very) few simple things – cotton stripes blankets, granny squares. Nothing big or fancy.
More recently, I have loved and been inspired by the gorgeous things I’ve seen on other people’s blogs: first Jane Brocket at Yarnstorm, (the first blog I ever came across), then Lucy at Attic 24, and more recently Kate at Foxs Lane. Especially the ripple blankets.
I so wanted to be able to make crazy, colourful, zingy things like they did. But I didn’t know how. And it looked so complicated.
So – learning how to ripple went on on my List for This Year. But where to start?
I looked around for local courses, didn’t find anything that seemed to fit the bill. Looked at books from the library, didn’t feel able to make use of them.
Then I remembered that lots of people online mention learning how to crochet from Lucy Attic 24’s tutorials on her blog. That seemed like a good place to start.
I visited one of our local yarn shops, and by chance they had one of Lucy’s ripple blankets made up and on display. It looked as wonderful in real life as it did on her blog.
Well, that was it. I bought the yarn and a crochet hook, and went home determined that this will be the year I do it.
That weekend I set aside a whole day to get started. Stupidly, I ignored the advice to begin with a test piece. Until I had started and undone rows one and two five times. Then I could see the sense of a test piece. Silly me!
With the test piece I finally ‘got’ it. I could see how the stitches on one row related to the row below, so I could tell if I’d gone wrong somewhere.
Lucy’s tutorial was brilliant – so well explained, so easy to follow, lots of clear photos to illustrate the words. So generously shared. I made a donation through her site as a ‘thank you’.
One other piece of advice I would add: make the beginning chain very loose. Once I ‘got’ that, the whole thing went well. In particular it became far easier to see where the first row stitches needed to go than in my earlier failed (undone) attempts.
No looking back from here! Now I’m happily rippling away, and I know my blanket will get finished. It’s growing and growing. It’s been with me on the train and around London.
And I’m already thinking about the next ones, when I’ll choose my own colours. One each to suit the daughter-in-law (got to be teal in there somewhere, and lots of greens) and the daughter-out-law (zingy pinks, oranges, purples I’m thinking).
And then the odds and ends can be used for bunting and yarny stuff on my allotment.