Let me start with explaining that I am very much a beginner here. I may have done a bit of knitting in the past, though I stuck firmly to garter stitch and ran to my sister every time I needed to cast on or off, because somehow she could just remember how to do it. When she left home I ran to Youtube.
At one point I started to feel rather comfortable with my knitting. I started going a bit quicker. I began to think I could look up every now and then, like those miracle knitters do, who manage to chat and watch tv while their hands magic up a full-on jumper. On looking back down, however, I realised I had somehow created extra stitches on that row. My hands had been unconsciously creating a triangle rather than a square. I sheepishly unpicked and resolved never to look up again.
Recently I have heard a good few folks saying that crochet is a kindred spirit of knitting, but easier. Ooooh.
So. Crochet hook - purchased. Woolly goodness - rooted out. Book of beginner crochet - loaned at the library. Youtube tutorials - on standby. Off I go.
I first started with this dark purple wool but don't be fooled, this picture was taken on my third attempt. When I tried the first time I realised that using dark wool when you don't know what you're doing...well it's just more confusing. If you can't see the stitches clearly - and I couldn't - you end up in a mess.
So I swapped out. I rooted out a shiny red wool, which was more slippery in texture and less springy and, ohhh, so much easier! I started to feel like it was flowing and eventually got into a rhythm.
It took me some few hours though to work out how my hands felt most comfortable holding the wool. Some tutorials I watched recommended wrapping the wool around little fingers and index fingers...but I just ended up with too much tension and the wool kept getting stuck. I ended up holding it pretty loosely, but it worked better for me.
Once I worked out some basic stitches I had to work out what the pattern was telling me to do. Knitting & crochet patterns feel like another language when you're not used to them. Luckily there are some great websites out there with explanations of the abbreviations and phrases.
I ran out of red wool before I completed the project I was trying - and so I am on my third attempt now with the original purple wool. Now I know what I am looking for, I can see the stitches better, regardless of the colour. This will hopefully become a simple beanie hat and, luckily for me, it only involves treble stitching so I am getting very well practiced in that before I move on to other stitches.
If you are even vaguely interested in having a go, I recommend it. It is absorbing, even at beginner level, and relaxing once you are in a flowing row. When I finish the hat I'll put it on here!