First foray into crochet…

At Christmas, my lovely Ma taught me how to crochet. I’d remembered that she’d crocheted our Christening dresses…

Baby Bee’s christening dress

And some other of our baby clothes…

Baby Bee looking splendid in yellow!

Having learnt how to knit and with the imminent arrival of my very close friend Marie’s first child, I thought I’d learn how to crochet too  – why not?! And as I’d been thinking about my friend’s new baby, of which she’s the first in our Uni circle to embrace motherhood, I felt the urge to learn a craft that my own mother could pass on to me.

Alas, poor Mama got rather frustrated with my knitters fingers as they resisted conforming to the crochet way of holding needles. But after a lot of deep breaths, occasional screeches and a fair few festive mulled wines, I’d finally made my first chain and learnt the double crochet. Woo hoo. It was only then that Mama explained that the Americans do some stitches differently to us – oh crumbs, even more to learn :S

I was determined to conquer the craft, however, and on my return to Margate I persevered and by early January, I was finally ready to try my first project – a baby blanket.

My Christmas gift to Mama had been a few crochet books as she’d said she wanted to get back into it (I like to think she was inspired by my knitting frenzy), and there was a lovely pattern in one of these – Cute and Easy Crochet by Nicki Trench. This is a really lovely book with some fresh, modern patterns, broken down into beginner, intermediate and advanced, which was rather helpful and suited me and Ma. Now, the pattern was actually for a throw but I planned to just make it smaller to suit the baby. And lucky I did. After calculating that if I wanted to make the throw with the yarns suggested it would cost me about £150, and with the opening line reading ‘This is a delightful project for beginners. You will first need to make 437 squares’, this beginner was no way going to embark on a crochet marathon. I don’t know any beginner that would find making that huge amount of squares delightful. I was totally exhausted after making 45!

Anyway, it was a great first project. I chose some vibrant colours and thoroughly enjoyed making it, though with baby arriving 2 weeks early, my original deadline was thwarted.

Here’s baby’s first blanket in pictures…

The first crochet squares

Piles of crochet squares, sorted into colours to keep track (photo taken at night so colours look rather illuminous!)

The first crochet square line up! (photo taken at night so colours look rather illuminous)

Second crochet square line up (photo taken at night so colours look rather illuminous!)

The joining of the first rows (photo taken at night so colours look rather illuminous!)

Working out the rows (photo taken at night so colours look rather illuminous!)

More horizontal rows joined (photo taken in the daytime)

Horizontal rows finished (photo taken at night so colours look rather illuminous!)

Nearly there… one last outside row to go (photo taken at night so colours look rather illuminous!)

The finished blanket! Taken in the daytime so showing actual colours

The finished blanket… again

Crochet close up

I couldn’t resist instagramming the blanket to give it a retro look

Beautiful baby Maia with her very special handmade blanket

Marie was delighted with the blanket, and baby Maia looked perfectly snuggled into it when I first met her – she’s just two weeks in the picture.

Nothing quite compares to the feeling when you give a gift that you’ve made yourself, with utter love, to the people you love. Passing on a craft from one generation to the next is a really precious thing. Although it took me nearly 30 years, I’m so pleased I asked Mama to show me how to crochet. This Christmas, I think I’ll serenade her with ‘Last Christmas… you taught me how to crochet’ to the tune of George Michael’s Last Christmas 🙂

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