Creative,  Crochet,  DIY,  Projects

Extreme crocheting – the sport you didn’t know you wanted to do

Have you ever seen photos (or have memories, actually) of women sitting having some tea, lovely conversation just crocheting or knitting away? No? Then you are probably too young to know what Open Time on M-Net was. If yes, you’ve probably met one of my family members. Really, these women could invent an extreme sport out of crocheting… They crochet at a braai, a tea-party, a dinner party, a children’s party, a church meeting, you name it, they will arrive with their craft bag filled to the brim with yarn, patterns, and an array of crochet hooks and knitting needles. And they keep on doing their thing until the food is served, or maybe something spectacular happens. I will contend that when a tannie puts down her work, one of a few things has happened. You, or anyone at the event, has done something terrible (something great will get acknowledgment, but the work will not be downed), shit is about to go down, the food is served, or it’s the end of the event. For everything else, the clicking of needles and soft swoosh of yarn will supply background music to the day.

But Charlotte, you will probably say now, knitting and crocheting in public isn’t that uncommon. Did you watch the Tokyo Olympics? Yes, I did. And I’m very proud that the tannies have worked their magic to influence beautiful young athletes to knit in public. Me, for one, I’m not quite there yet. I hoard all kinds of yarn in my apartment and storage room (see the picture below for one of many such yarn-stash-bags), and I hardly ever have less than two projects going (once again see photos of two of the projects currently on/near my couch). BUT I have not yet invested in a craft bag to carry with me. By the way, if you are looking for cool bags to tote around your masterpieces in progress, have a look at these beautiful bags by Cowgirlblues. And because she’s wonderfully stylish, she calls them Project Bags, but in my mind, a craft bag will forever be called a “hekelsak’. 

Just a quick note on Cowgirlblues. I’ve ordered some of the most beautiful yarn I’ve ever worked with from this gorgeous company. Even though I’ve been back in the Mother City (or just north of it, for accuracy’s sake) for more than a year, I still haven’t managed to visit their shop. In all fairness, I may also end up spending all my savings there, so it may be better for my financial state to just order online.

Wow, what a tangent that was. Anyway, I moved back with a lot of left-over yarn from a project. This brings me to another common problem I have. I either buy too little yarn or waayyy too much. Yeah-yeah, I know the pattern indicates how much yarn you need. But like following recipes, I find it somewhat tedious to use the yarn the patterns suggest. Nope, I have to use a different weight altogether, because why not. And then I don’t buy enough… On various occasions, I have begged shop assistants and owners to dig through their backrooms and supplier lists to find me just one more ball of the exact dye lot I need to finish my project. And then next time, I overcompensate and buy too much. In my defense, I sometimes adapt patterns or make it up as I go, and then there is honestly no way of telling how much will be too much or too little. I am convinced there are many crafters with a similar challenge (please support me on this?).

Ok, so I came back with a ton of extra yarn from one specific project I made up as I went. But I didn’t have enough of a colour to make a large project (another typical problem for yarn-hoarders). And it’s winter…maybe beanies? And it just so happened that there was a charity drive to make beanies. And so I made my first beanie. Check out the beanies I made with my left-over chunky(-ish) yarn.

The way I’m going now, I will be crocheting from my backpack while hiking the mountains or riding my horse. Maybe not now. For now, I’m quite happy to crochet and watch my favourite series or listen to a podcast. But who knows, extreme crocheting may be my next sport.

Oh! And here is a list of the beanies and where you can find their patterns. It’s a pleasure.

  • November Twilight Slouch Hat by Kirsten Holloway, made with Elle Pure Gold Chunky and Elle Rustica.
  • Bernat Stepping Tesxture Hat by Yarnspirations, made with Elle Pure Gold Chunky.
  • Oisin Beanie Hat by Crochet with Carrie, made with Elle Pure Gold Chunky.
  • Harvest Beanie by Ginger Knots, made in Elle Rustica (it was supposed to be chunky, but the ball was incorrectly labelled).
  • Herringbone Beanie by Hooked on Homemade Happiness, made with the last bits of Elle Pure Gold Chunky.
  • The Wanderlust Beanie by Kirsten Holloway (again), made with Elle Rustica.

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