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Learning to Crochet; a lesson in perseverance


Crochet has morphed from homespun to hot. (Janet Bennett Kell)

Regular TSL readers will know that I am attempting to learn the craft of crochet. I’m adding it to my growing list of ‘haberdashery classes‘. Last Wednesday, I had my first crochet class. Apparently, anyone can learn to crochet. This is according to my lovely crochet teacher, Jane. I think I may be the exception. I’m not kidding. There are four of us in the class. For the purposes of this post, let’s call my fellow students Lucy, Hermione and Elle*.

Lucy, I already know. She and I went to surface design school together, She is an amazingly talented seamstress, who also knits. I can’t knit. I can’t be taught to knit. This is a fact. I have accepted this failure in myself. Everyone says crochet is easier. I think they are lying. Anyway, back to Lucy… Of course, given her previously listed talents, you know I’m going to tell you that she is a natural. Her crochet sample looked perfect. It was flat and symmetrical. Her tension was consistent.

Then, there is Hermione. Hermione seems just lovely. It may be a front, though – Hermione has ‘taught herself to crochet from You Tube‘. Seriously. I think she’s our girly-swat. There’s one in every class. In addition, she has almost completed the blanket from the Purl Bee that was one of my inspirations for learning to crochet and attending a beginners crochet class. This just blows my mind. Here it is:

The Grey & Yellow Granny Stripe Blanket from Purl Bee
The ‘one of my reasons for learning to crochet‘ Granny Stripe Blanket from Purl Bee
(Image sourced from Purl Bee)

I kid you not – Hermione has almost completed this gorgeous blanket.

And, then there’s Elle. Elle, who is a hoot, has decided she has reached an age where she should take up some form of craft. I hope I’m not giving any of her secrets away when I say she bought back her two recent knitted contributions to the school fair. It does mean that she can knit, which is a lot more than I can do. But, Elle gives me some hope…

I know you think I am exaggerating about my incompetence. That’s because you’re all so lovely and generous. I’m not exaggerating. Here is the evidence:

Image of TSL Crochet Sampler
The TSL Crochet Sample
It is supposed to be a neat rectangle. Jane thinks it looks like a fish.
(Image by TSL)

Just in case you’re wondering, class ran for 4 hours. This tiny wee sample is the sum total of my efforts. 

The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it (Molière)

I have determined, thanks to my mate Molière, that I am not (yet) going to let the craft of crochet beat me. I will persevere. I am so in awe of many of the incredible fibre artists out there.  Here are just a few examples of why I will continue to try and learn the, possibly futile, art of crochet:

Little Urchin Covered Sea Stones by Margaret Oomen
Little Urchin Covered Sea Stones by Margaret Oomen
(Image sourced from Purl Bee)

I am so enamoured of these beautiful sea stones. I’d like to make a bowl-full.

Crochet Piano by Olek
Crochet Piano by Olek
(Image © Olek)

The amazing Olek and her incredible crochet installations are inspiring.

Foundation 1 by Crystal Gregory
Foundation 1 by Crystal Gregory
(Image © Crystal Gregory)

I love how Crystal Gregory’s crochet art explores ideas of pattern and gender within domestic spaces.

Radical Linen by Aurélie Mathigot
Radical Linen by Aurélie Mathigot
(Image sourced from Feel the Yarn)

I would like a few pieces of Aurélie Mathigot’s imaginary forest from her Radical Linen installation.

Male Symbol by Nathan Vincent
Male Symbol by Nathan Vincent
(Image © Nathan Vincent)

I would love a piece of Nathan Vincent’s work for my wall.

Flesh Spot by Emily Barletta
Flesh Spot by Emily Barletta
(Image © Emily Barletta)

I have already blogged about the very talented Emily Barletta here.

Alpaca Brooch by Sophie Digard
Alpaca Brooch by Sophie Digard
(Image sourced from Art at Heart)

And, the delicate works of Sophie Digard here.

If you live in Sydney and you would like to learn how to crochet, Calico & Ivy run classes for the absolute beginner.

I’ll keep you posted!

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent

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Comments (48)

Wow, so much inspiration in such a short time! Nothing futile about crotchet: an attention to detail, giving our synapses some welcome fine-motor practice: I would hazed it’s one of those serendipitous activities which make us young 🙂 Thanks for sharing this. Me: I love your rectangle…the alpaca brooch is cool beyond words.

sorry, hazard, not hazed! Late at night here in the UK!

Oh no! It makes us young? I shall have to redouble my efforts, Kate!!! 🙂

Thanks for stopping by. I shall return the favour…

Rome was not built in a day, your little sample show courage, ambition, and love and I am sure you will be giving purl bee a run for her money ver soon! I love those urchins btw! 🙂

I SO want to make some of those, BCD. Badly. 🙂

I think your offering looks like a cod piece

I can see how you would. It would be a very small cod piece…

indeed a lesson in perseverance…I used to know how to knit a sock!

It’s an uphill battle, B. I have my fingers crossed… 🙂

Wow, I am craving that granny stripe blanket right now…so gorgeous. Good luck btw 😉

Thanks, DT. I need it! 🙂

Go on – make one 😉

You’ll be the very 1st to know if I ever do… 🙂

I like that. . . And if you get to that point you might just get an order in from me hehe 🙂

That is great news that you have started lessons, it is a beautiful art, you can do so many wonderful things if you know how to crochet, good on you and I know that you will be able to do some very nice things. Well done. 😀

Thanks Mags. I think it is safe to say I am not a natural! 🙂

This post is hilarious! I love your sample – you’re going to blow them all away when you bring in a bowl of those sea stones to your final class. Well done! and good luck 🙂

It could be quite a long journey to the sea stones, Marina (There’s that word again!) 🙂

It is a journey Syders 🙂

Loving the crochet, especially the urchin covered sea stones! I never could crochet either but I can knit and love it – it’s my “therapy”! When you’ve mastered the crochet (and I have no doubt you will) and you want another challenge, you should try tatting. My darling next door neighbours used to do some pretty fantastic embroidery and crochet, but the tatting they did was even more beautiful (well, I thought so anyway!). Tatting = crochet using something that looked like sewing thread on needles the thickness of matchsticks! The finished product looked like lace. Way outside of my capabilities and I treasure the hankie with tatted edge they did for me. So, perservere with your crochet – you’ll have to post some pics of your finished product/s!

Hey Ellen! I rather suspect tatting is a craft for people with nimble fingers and endless patience – two qualities I am rapidly discovering I don’t actually possess!

I will definitely keep you posted on the progress of my attempts at learning to crochet!


You will get there no doubt! Perseverence and patience is required for this perfectionist! I must admit that I have watched my mother crochet for the last 40 odd years and I have tried numerous times before so I think that I had a considerable headstart on you. It was a fun class – just practice and soon you will be crocheting sea stones and radical forests!

It was a fun class and I’m telling myself I shall be like the little engine that could… “I know I can, I know I can…” It’s all the better having you there, Lucy! 🙂

Excellent photo with chair/door.

J – the Purl Bee has some amazing craft tutorials. Well worth a look. 🙂

Firstly, thanks for using the word haberdashery again (on behalf of your brother and me)! Secondly, don’t be so tough on yourself TSL – if you stretched your rectangle/fish over a stick or rock (or alpaca) like some of those other crochet artists did – it would look pretty similar, I reckon. So, you’re off to a good start! I look forward to the day when you’re making the You Tube crocheting clips that Hermione is watching to improve her skills. 😉

Sparks – I have created a ‘habedshery’ category! A wee place to hide all my craft efforts.

Please don’t hold your breath on the You Tube clips. Really. I’m very fond of you. 🙂

love this post..( especially the sea stones ) …..i gave up knitting for the same reason…..i now focus on what i am good at…choosing which yarn i give to my mum when i ask her to knit me my winter scarf

I thought it was a sweet old fashioned art- how wrong can you get? That brick wall left me speechless. Hang on while I do a victory dance round the settee- I can knit AND crochet! Sadly my talents stop right there.

I’d have to win a trip to visit. The finances don’t go that far, and worse yet, the husband is a home body. Still I can dream. And enjoy your lovely blog.

Hey Jo – It used to be a sweet old fashioned art. Now it’s hip and cool, only I’m not a natural (damn it!), unlike you! Oh well, I shall have to blog instead…

Bless your cotton socks! 🙂

I adore the “Granny Stripe” Blanket!! Is that a pop of neon infused within that gray blanket? : )

Isn’t it gorgeous? I just realised how well it would go with the grey.neon yellow clutch on your last post! Ha! No wonder we both love it! 🙂

So cool! Perhaps it’s time to learn?

That’s what I thought, Lady Fi. I’m not feeling the love!

Such a lovely post – honestly enjoyed reading every bit of it. The images are amazing!! I LOVE that neon striped blanket…wish I could knit…for some reason I always seem to ‘add in’ stitches!

Cheers Nixsheth! Such a lovely comment.

It is a neon striped nanna blanket – isn’t it yummy?

I LOVE everything about this post – your humor, the pictures – Everything!

Aww shucks! Thanks WIM2S.

After writing this post, I googled ‘how to crochet’ video clips, thinking it can’t be that hard. It is. For me, anyway. (sigh)

Gosh, I couldn’t even have created the portion that you made. Stick with it!

Stick with it (it gets easier and it is one of those crafts where you can achieve quite a lot with just the basic stitches – like that gorgeous rug) – I was taught 50 years ago by my grandmother – your teenager’s great grandmother – just ask LM about Elsie Kate – a very talented woman, who did wonderful crochet. I must confess when the teenager told me of your blog I thought I would sneak a peek – but I am addicted, you write so well and what an amazing array of treasures you have presented your readers ….Sharon

Hi Sharon – your message was such a lovely surprise. Thanks so much. The teenager talks to me about your superior ability with all things craft-related, as he gives me his earnest encouragement. Bless him! 🙂

I have to say, I’m not sure crochet is going to be my next big ‘thing‘ – somehow my brain just doesn’t seem to want to co-operate… Ah well, I shall keep hunting!

Don’t be a stranger. So chuffed you’re enjoying the blog.

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