My Mum Jean has been reminiscing about learning to knit and crochet.
My interest in yarns and things knitted and crocheted goes back longer than I can remember. I was born during WW2 when most things were scarce, including toys and books. My mother had a hard-back book with pictures of people wearing all kinds of garments which had been knitted or crocheted. I still have that book bearing my early scribbling. It has patterns for garments made mostly from 3 and 4 ply wool and things crocheted from fine cotton in lacy designs.
When I was a bit older I would play with her sewing box, investigating all the tins of pins and reels of cotton contained in it. The button box was a real treasure trove and buttons could be laid out in many different formations and perform all kinds of manoeuvres, each type of button taking on its own character. Then, somehow, I learnt to knit. I can’t exactly remember those first few stitches and whether it was my Mum, or Nanny and Auntie Cissie, or Mrs Appleby, next door but one, who started me off. I remember my friend Kathleen was also starting off at the same time. Mr Appleby was a bit of a comedian and used to say he could hear us dropping stitches!
Anyway, that was the start of my knitting career which has stood me in good stead over the years. Several times I have tried to teach myself to crochet, and even succeeded in producing a few items, but it never took hold of me in the same way that knitting did until last year when Helen Jordan was doing an improvers’ crochet course here in Tadcaster. She got us to make a scarf using Jawoll sock yarn, which in itself is gorgeous, and using a chevron pattern. I found it really addictive and when the scarf was finished it was just the right present for a friend who was moving on. So I made another using some West Yorkshire Spinners’ printed 4ply Blue Faced Leicester, and when that was finished it became a Christmas present for someone. I’ve been trying my hand at other things and gaining more experience, but I think I feel the urge coming on to make another chevron scarf!
My latest crochet project which I’m trying out at the minute is a Hayfield pattern (7257) for a blanket made of Flower Motif squares. I’ve put a section together to display in the shop but I think I’ll carry on with it and see how big it becomes.
I’ve used Country Style Double Knitting wool in greens, blues, and pinks. The pattern says use a 5mm crochet hook but I think I would use a 4.5mm because the squares have turned out just a little bit larger. When I saw the pattern at first I thought the design was too open but now I think it would make a lovely warm throw or a bedspread.
The next Beginners Crochet class at Needlecase is on 16th May. If you would be interested in another ‘next steps’ class where Jean learnt to make the chevron scarf, we would be happy to book Helen to come along and run it again. Let us know and we’ll set a date!!