A Beginner’s Crochet Adventures: my first scarf and hat

I learnt to do basic crochet as a child, but only recently picked up my hooks again after a break of easily 35 years. I’d been looking for something to do, a hobby, for a while, and the thought of actually producing something appealed, as opposed to staring at a screen which I do all day at work (computer) and every evening (TV).

I purchased some hooks, chosen entirely because they are pretty, a pattern and a few balls of multicoloured wool.  Except it’s not wool, its ‘yarn’.  Oddly, ‘yarn’ feels more difficult to say and doesn’t trip off my tongue as easily as wool, but it’s more accurate, as the yarn I purchased was acrylic and had never seen a sheep.  I chose Lion Brand’s Jiffy Multi Salem.

knit_pro_symfonie_d_ended_hooksLion Brand multi jiffy salem

My plans were to crochet a cowl scarf.  I guess a scarf is where most beginners begin.

I selected my pattern (marked as ‘Beginner Easy’) and spent a good while checking that I was ordering sufficient yarn of the correct weight.  I got stuck in, and managed to work out a lot of the pattern’s shorthand ‘code’.  My first attempt didn’t turn out well, I could tell that a cowl was supposed to be tubular, but my work was increasing each round, like a sun.  I was barely halfway though the pattern and had already used three quarters of the yarn,  I certainly wasn’t going to have enough for a matching hat at this rate!

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Nothing for it, but to take a photo for the record, unpick and start again.  This time I spotted my pattern reading error, and although the final cowl looks nothing like the pattern cover, I’m really pleased with it.  I can wear it looped double, dangling like a long cowl, and, as in the picture, on chilly days in the office I can snuggle my shoulders inside as a wrap.

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All that was left to now, was to make a hat to match.  I seriously doubted that I had bought enough yarn to make the hat that was included in the pattern, so I spent ages searching around for a hat that I liked the look of, whose texture matched the texture of the scarf, and one which wouldn’t need too much yarn.

After toying with the idea of an ear warmer, I eventually settled on a beanie.  By now my confidence had grown, patterns became easier to understand, and even the confusion between USA and UK terminology didn’t phase me.  But still the hat was a disaster!

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It was all crown and no sides.  More like an enormous beret than a beanie!  It was time to unpick again. I decided to retain part of the crown, and to invent a pattern as I went along.  Nothing to lose by trying.  Success!, the work was developing into a beanie shape, and I had plenty of yarn in the end.  I even managed to make a flower for the front.

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So, a few mishaps along the way.  And a lot of learning in a short time, but I’ve got a scarf and hat ready for the autumn!

The Expat’s Pajamas: Barcelona R S Gompertz

Availability

Kindle version is available free on Amazon http://amzn.to/1p9j0d9 (price correct 19 August 2014)

Review written prior to starting

It’s free, it mentions Barcelona in the title, it’s short – what’s not to like? I’ve never heard of the writer, but hey everyone deserves a chance!

Review written at 66% read

The mere mention of pajamas in the title led me to assume, wrongly as it turned out, that the writer is British. Judging from the choice of spellings and the content it’s clear that he (another assumption of course) is an American. Lesson learnt!

The book is a collection of short essays, musings, rambling thoughts of the writer, which may or may not link together to form a coherent whole.  I’m keen to find out, and to read the remaining pages, which is always a good sign.  With relative ease, this book could be read in a morning, or afternoon.

Review written after finishing

A quite delightful read, if short. I found myself wanting more of these ditties.  I realised that they’re not linked directly, but they do create an overall glimpse of life as an expat.

Recommend?

Yes, a lovely read for a couple of hours.  Especially if you enjoy the comparisons and contrasts of life as an expat.

Want to know more?

Find out more about the writer and his other books at noroadsleadtorome.blogspot.co.uk

If you’re fascinated by Italy it certainly looks like “No Roads Lead to Rome” would be a worth reading. RS includes snippets of this book in Pajamas, so you can check it out for yourself.