The good thing...I had nothing else going on that day, and I was happy to be able to help a friend. The bad thing...letting me loose in Hobby Lobby, with no time constraints usually ends up with me wandering around for at least an hour, just checking things out. On this particular day, I found myself in the yarn aisle...I'm really not sure why...that's just where I ended up. I looked at all the different textures and beautiful colors before going down the next aisle, which put me smack dab in front of all of the books of patterns for knitting and crocheting.
I can't knit. That is a fact. The whole, coordinating two hands thing just doesn't seem to work for me. My mother tried to show me how to knit back when I was around 14-15...I attempted (the key word there is attempted) to make a scarf. That scarf never actually got completed...in fact, after a whole evening of attempting, pulling stitches out and repeating "knit one, purl one", I think I ended up with 3 rows, which had dropped stitches all over the place!
Crocheting on the other hand...hmmm, that I might be able to do! I remember that my mother first showed me how to crochet with I was somewhere between 10-12...maybe a little younger. I don't actually remember ever completing any crochet projects (perhaps my mom can remember if I did or not) but I do remember it being a heck of a lot easier than crocheting.
So, finding myself standing in front of the knitting and crocheting books, I automatically gave preference to the ones for crochet. I picked up several, flipped through them, put them back...and then I saw IT, it was beautiful, it was perfect and I HAD to make one for my sister's soon-to-be baby girl! I picked up the pattern book and turned it page by page...each one was more beautiful than the last! I could make this...right? I mean, my mother had taught me how to crochet some 27 years ago. How hard could it be? It's probably like riding a bike.
Noticing that the patterns I liked were marked Intermediate and Intermediate +, I decided that I should probably start with something simple, like a dish cloth. So I put back the pattern that I HAD TO MAKE and found a book with 36 different patterns for dishcloths, pot holders, etc. Several of the patterns were marked Beginner and Easy...I found the simplest one in the book, looked to see what type of yarn and size of hook it called for and put it in my cart. I picked out my hook and then went and selected my yarn. This was going to be so much fun! And easy, it was going to be easy! I mean, I already knew how and the pattern said it was easy....no problem.
After getting home, I immediately pulled out my yarn, hook and pattern book. I flipped to the easiest pattern in the book and read the instructions.
Pattern Book: "With first color, ch 31"
Me: "Ok, that must mean chain stitch 31, I can do that, I know the chain stitch. Ok, done. What's next?"
Pattern Book: "sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across, turn (30sc)"
Me: "What? What the heck is a sc? Flip to the appendix in the back of the book. Ok, sc means Single crochet. Simple enough." (except the stitch that I did was NOT a single crochet.)
Pattern Book: "ch 1, sc in each st across, turn, continue to last row. Fasten off."
I continued doing what I thought was a single crochet...never counting a stitch...I mean, how hard could it be?
After about 45 minutes, I had about 18 sad, sad little rows....they were different lengths as I had dropped and added stitches at will (easy to do, when you aren't counting and you have NO clue what you're doing.)
Frustrated that my SIMPLE dishcloth wasn't even close to being square, and frustrated because I had ZERO idea how to read the pattern, I pulled out all of the stitches (well most of them anyway....once I got down to the last 3 rows, I had such a tangled mess that I just cut it off and threw it away.)
Determined, I started again. Still not actually doing the correct stitch...at least not intentionally. After about 4 rows, I remembered a stitch that my mother had taught me and decided to incorporate it in. (It actually was a single crochet, but I had NO idea that's what it was called.) I tried to be more careful about not dropping or adding stitches...and what I ended up with was, if not perfect, at least close to being square.
Now to do the edge....what does the pattern book have to say?
Pattern Book: "Join 2nd color with sc in first st, 2 sc in same st, sc in each st and in end of each row around with 3 sc in each corner st, join with sl st in beg sc. (148 sc)
Me: "Oh good Lord, what does all that even mean? Why can't they write these things in English?"
I decided to disregard the pattern at this point and just do the edge with whatever stitch I could manage to do. Of course, not knowing how to do corners correctly caused my square dish cloth to curl inwards around the edges. Oh well, I don't care...it's just a dish cloth, afterall. I tied off the end of my yarn and called it good.
I have titled this first crochet piece "Sad Little Dishcloth". Here are a few pictures for your viewing pleasure!