I find it very difficult to sit around doing nothing with my hands. My solution to this problem is crotchet. I will crotchet anywhere, any time. I have been approached at festivals with comments such as “hey, you’re that lady I saw crotcheting at the [insert gig]”. It’s a great conversation starter, although people usually ask me what I am knitting. A friend once took a picture of me crotcheting away and then was amazed at the blur my hands made in the photo (although I the photo was taken in indoor lighting and I still think any movement would have produced a blur.)
I mostly favour fairly simple patterns that I can take my eyes off so that I can pay attention to something else at the same time. This is part of the reason I prefer crotchet to knitting. (Also, crotchet is much easier to transport – if your hook comes out of your work, it is a matter of moments to pick it back up again, even if there has been some unravelling.)
The I-can-do-it-with-my-eyes-closed thing is also part of why I have a few standard favourite patterns. But sometimes I will work out a new pattern – rarely entirely from scratch; I use general pattern books and other patterns and take bits and pieces from them to make what I want. Ravelry is also a good source of new patterns when I’m feeling bored or at a loss.
At the moment, I am making a rug, using a pattern I have designed based on two other patterns and a bit of figuring-it-out.
But the pattern set out below is an old standard favourite cushion/rug pattern, the pattern I tend to use to teach people how to crotchet. I’ve made half a dozen rugs to this pattern over time.
If you do not know how to crotchet already: it’s pretty easy, and there are lots of resources (including YouTube videos) online, so I won’t set out a lesson here.
Be warned: if you are using North American resources, they use a different notation. What we call a double stitch, they call single; what we call treble, they call double; what we call double treble, they call treble.
How about you? What stitchery or yarncraft are you up to/are you interested in?
Foundation: 4 ch, slip stitch to close.
Row 1: 3 ch, 2 tr in ring. *1 ch, 3 tr in ring* rep * to * twice. 1 ch, slip stitch in third ch at start of row.
Row 2: 4 ch. *3 tr, 1 ch, 3 tr, 1 ch in next ch gap* rep * to * twice. 3 tr, 1 ch, 2 tr in last ch gap, slip stitch in third ch at start of row.
Row 3: 3 ch, 2 tr in first ch gap. 1 ch. In next ch gap (corner): 3 tr, 1 ch, 3 tr. 1 ch. In next ch gap (centre): 3 tr. 1 ch. Continue this pattern (ie 3 tr in each centre ch gap; 3 tr, 1 ch, 3 tr in each corner ch gap, with 1 ch between each set of stitches) around row. End with 1 ch, slip stitch in third ch at start of row.
Row 4: 4 ch. 3 tr in next ch gap. 1 ch. Continue as for Row 3 (ie 3 tr in each side ch gap; 3 tr, 1 ch, 3 tr in each corner ch gap, with 1 ch between each set of stitches). End with 2 tr in the ch stitch next to the first 4 chains, slip stitch into third ch at start of row.
Continue in this way with odd rows following pattern for Row 3 and even rows following pattern for Row 4.
First, if you are changing colours, it is best to have each colour in an even number of rows, because:
– single rows of a colour look a bit weird with this pattern
– the changeover is neater at the end of an even row (for a similar reason, I recommend finishing on an even row).
Second, worsted weight is basically the perfect yarn for this pattern, with a hook from anywhere between 4.5 mm and 6 mm, depending on your natural tension and how loose you want the pattern to be.