Crocheting As Comedy

Kim Hargreaves’s Mercy crochet hat

Having crocheted a snood, it felt only right that I extend my crocheting skills to a hat. Phew-boy – photographing hats is hard. Here’s my big fat face with some wool on top of it.

This is a really lovely crochet pattern and works brilliantly with Rowan Big Wool. The burnt red I used has hints of purple in it, so it goes well with my purple snood without being too matchey-matchey.

Sadly, because I’m still learning it took me three attempts to make this hat, over the course of a weekend:

Friday night

Eight mile run, dinner, a glass or two of wine and then… I sit down to start crocheting from a brand new pattern. Tired? I ended up with a woollen dinner plate. Start again!

Saturday night

Cycling like a lunatic around London, theatre, film and then… I sit down to start crocheting from a pattern I’ve already messed up once. Tired? I ended up with a hat to fit a pixie’s head. Start again!

Sunday morning

Catch the train and a bus to the Royal Festival Hall to work and, oh – there’s a surprise. I am refreshed, sober, not in front of the telly and suddenly the pattern starts to make sense. Public transport was quiet enough on a Sunday that I didn’t have to worry about anyone peeking over my shoulder – Look at the mad woman crocheting! – and this craft is very transportable. A person can sit the ball of wool in their tote bag, keep the crochet hook relatively discreet in the opening of the bag, and crochet away. Who knew?

Finally, success! Not one to hide my light under a bushel, I asked anyone with a pulse to photograph me wearing the hat, including a complete stranger in the middle of John Lewis:

Stood in front of wool, wearing wool.

Someone needs to get a grip. Whoever you are, kind lady photographer, thank you for indulging me!

My conclusions are: crocheting is challenging to learn because of the UK/US discrepancies in terminology and I think it’s one of those crafts where you know what you’re doing once you … know what you’re doing. It’s not quite as clear where you’ve gone wrong as it is with knitting. Or not for me. Don’t skip the parts of the pattern that tell you to count your stitches. You do need to count your stitches until you’re up and running.

At least this learning curve gave my boyfriend, his mum, his sister and his sister’s boyfriend something to laugh at on Saturday night as we all watched a DVD: I quietly swore every time my boyfriend asked me how it was going.

Crocheting as comedy – now there’s a first.

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10 Responses to Crocheting As Comedy

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Oh my that was funny. No really. I loved it. I have not learned to crochet yet. I am scared of it. Your hat is quite nice and your face is most definitely not fat. I loved that you asked a total stranger to take your picture. I can’t wait to meet you!!!

  2. Carly says:

    Ooh fab! I had similar problems crocheting a hat, in fact I haven’t tried it again as it made me so cross! Ended up with first a dinner plate (despite following pattern exactly) and then when I tried to fix it my own way, ended up with it far too small.

    Well done!

  3. Julie Ormsby says:

    This made me giggle. I picked up crocheting again and I’ve been swearing the entire time. I’ve ripped back and re-ripped every crocheting project I started. I’ve finally finished a few things but they are all full of mistakes. For some reason, everything I’ve chosen to make was all stitched in the round. I’ve learned to count my stitches and mark the first stitch in every round. I was too lazy to do that and the mistakes show how badly I needed to mark the first stitch. I never swear this much when I sew!

  4. Miriana says:

    Don’t hide the crocheting on the tube. I knit on the tube and I need friends! And I recently had a woman gush out loud to the whole carriage that the knitted dress I was making for my daughter was ‘sooo beauooottiifful’. And it beats reading the free papers. I feel especially slick when I manage it standing up. Circular needles are a must though!

  5. Roobeedoo says:

    If you learn to read crochet charts, the US / UK thing becomes less of a problem. I recommend the book “Blueprint Crochet” – you will soon be tri-lingual!

  6. KC says:

    Both the hat and the woman sporting it are very cute. I’m tempted to take up crocheting. Only thing is, it’s never cold enough here in Los Angeles to wear a wool hat! 😛

  7. Anna says:

    I am happy when I complete a baby afghan. I love your hat and the stories of all your adventures.

  8. cidell says:

    I am so jealous of people who can crochet and knit. You look adorable. I love the flower on the side.

  9. Jane says:

    You look lovely in your hat you multi-talented craft girl. Really funny post, especially the bit where your hat turned out pixie sized! x
    PS. Love the new-look blog

  10. SewOm says:

    I do agree that counting stitches helps – especially as a beginner. And if you haven’t tried them yet, stitch markers will become your best friend. For crochet, I really like the plastic ones shaped like big safety pins. Its much easier to count stitches in sections, instead across a long row or a complete round.

    As Roobeedoo said, Blueprint Crochet is fantastic! And once you can read charts, you can explore some of the Japanese Crochet publishing. Truly delicious!

    Congrats on the hat. You look gorgeous in it.

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