Just call me Captain Hook…

I’ve never been very crafty. As a child I learned the very basic knitting stitch but my mum had to cast on and off for me. I was quite good at cross stitch but then children came along and it fell by the wayside.

Years ago a family friend gave me a gorgeous blanket. You can see it here being used to build a den!


But doing something like that myself was impossible. Anyway, recently browsing online I kept coming across the most beautiful crocheted items. All sorts of pretty things – blankets, hats, mug cosies, clothes, headbands, soft toys. Endless possibilities. So I went down to the market and picked up a 4mm crochet hook and a ball of double knit acrylic yarn. It was very cheap. Under a fiver altogether.

Then I searched www.youtube.com for ‘crochet for beginners’ and ‘how to crochet’. There are SO many videos to choose from. It’s all about finding one that you can follow easily. Preferably someone with a voice that doesn’t make you want to punch yourself. I really like Epic Abundance for learning the basics.

Chain stitch and single crochet:

single & chain

double, half double and treble crochet:

half double

treble crochet

Now here’s the thing. It takes practice! I watched a bit of the video, paused it, tried it myself. Re-wound the video, watched it again, unravelled the mess I’d made, started again. I did this A LOT.

I tried a granny square next. Once you have mastered this, you can make a blanket by stitching lots of small ones together or making one giant one. Imagine that?! A whole blanket that you made yourself!

I went back to You Tube and searched ‘how to crochet a granny square’. I found Bethintx1 the easiest to follow. So early attempts didn’t go very well…


It’s just a ball of knotty nothing! I did this over and over again. It just didn’t look right! I had a couple of week’s break from it out of sheer frustration. Then I bought a gorgeous hook and some stunning hand-dyed yarn from www.facebook.com/trulyhooked. And oh my goodness, isn’t it just beautiful?

truly hooked

The larger hook made all the difference. Aside from being so pretty, it’s easier to grip. I also found a handy tip from Benthintx1 about using a paper clip to mark the central hole of the granny square. Suddenly I had this…

start of square

Then this…

granny square

HUZZAH! I made a granny square! Victory is mine! Now I could’ve carried on and made a gazillion squares to make a blanket but I wanted to make something BIG. So I started a new granny square with my special yarn from Truly Hooked and switched back to my smaller hook. Instead of stopping after three ‘rounds’, I kept going. It’s not quite a blanket yet (perhaps for a mouse?) but it’s getting bigger and I’m addicted.

large granny square

After this project is finished I might attempt my first proper pattern. There are lots of free ones available online. Try www.ravelry.com or www.scarletdash.co.uk. So if I can be crafty, you can too!

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9 thoughts on “Just call me Captain Hook…

  1. Amanda September 5, 2013 at 19:53 Reply

    Looking good! That gorgeous blanket you were given is just one big granny square too! I live granny blankets, they are just so easy to make! And once you get the hang of it you can try variations like the granny stripe! If you want crochet inspiration check out Lucy at Attic24. Honestly, she is fab!!

    • The Pie Patch September 5, 2013 at 19:56 Reply

      I shall, thank you. I’ve definitely got the bug now! I saw a lovely pattern for a granny stripe blanket that I thought I could do but can’t remember where now. That’ll be my next project!

  2. emilytealady September 5, 2013 at 21:58 Reply

    You’ve convinced me to try this. Looks lovely xx

    • The Pie Patch September 5, 2013 at 22:00 Reply

      Wow! Thank you. That makes me smile. Give it a try. Let us know how it goes!

  3. Debra September 5, 2013 at 23:39 Reply

    I’ve also been thinking about taking up crocheting, there are so many beautiful crocheted objects out there, enough to make anyone drool. But like you I found it very frustrating to get into it. Your post has really encouraged me to try again and persevere, so thanks 🙂 . now if I can only find the time…

    • The Pie Patch September 6, 2013 at 06:28 Reply

      There is a certain amount of perseverance needed if you’re like me & don’t pick these things up super fast. I figured it’ll keep me busy with the dark evenings drawing in!

  4. Lyndsey September 6, 2013 at 20:01 Reply

    I have tried lots of times in the past few month to crochet. Like you I have been looking at YouTube, I have successfully made a few flowers and some bows. I can make a foundation chain but when I have to turn it and work back through the chain it all goes horribly wrong. I can’t do it 😦 x

    • The Pie Patch September 6, 2013 at 20:05 Reply

      Well I haven’t made flowers or bows so you’re already ahead of me! Apparently the stitch count is absolutely critically vitally life-or-death important (maybe not actual death). Someone recommended Attic24 as a good guide for foundation chains for granny stripe blankets.

  5. mandy September 13, 2013 at 19:55 Reply

    Crochet is great and simple once you get the hang of it – 2 points – you dont sew the squares together you crochet them and also if you are new to crochet the advantage of stickign to the smaller squares is you get to change yarns more often and only have to do one REALLY large round when you have got them all joined together and are making the border . keep calm carryinon

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