I needed something that would be a quick and easy project, and I thought that crocheting a washcloth would be just the thing to keep my mind occupied. I chose a pattern and got started. Chain 28, that’s easy. Except I wanted a larger washcloth, so I chained half again as many stitches, wondering why the pattern didn’t include anything about how to make it larger. Some quick sketching on paper seemed to indicate that it would work with any even number of stitches, and I figured if I was wrong about that, then I’d just tear it out and start over. Because crochet is fast, right?

By the end of the second row I was sure I’d done something wrong. It didn’t look like the pattern and there were many more stitches than there should have been, even accounting for my upsizing by 150%. I tore it out and started over.

I have a copy of “The Happy Hooker” and I pulled it out to see exactly where I was supposed to be making the single crochets into the chain. The picture of the chain in the book looked a lot like mine… mostly. I *know* I know how to chain, and I know I made each stitch of it exactly the same way, so why do some of the stitches seem backwards and some forwards? To heck with it, I said, and began to work the first row. Single crochet, chain one, skip one, and so on. Halfway through I realized that I again had many more stitches than there should have been.

I tore it out again, and then I chained the same 42 stitches three more times, and three more times ripped it out. When I chain tightly, it looks like the picture in the book; I can figure out exactly which two strands I’m supposed to be hooking through, but I can’t actually get the hook through them. When I chain loosely, I can’t tell which strands are which. One day I’ll be able to read crochet as well as I can read my knitting, but today is not that day. That’s when I gave up and went to bed. And that’s why today’s picture is not of a washcloth, but of the ball of yarn that will eventually become a washcloth.

Kipling doesn’t worry about things like washcloths (unless he’s being threatened with a damp one). He just wriggles around until he’s upside-down, in what looks like the least comfortable position he could possibly be in, and then he purrs himself to sleep. Last night he slept like a normal cat, right side up, snoogled into the small of my back. I had never thought of using a cat for lumbar support before…

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2 Responses to “In Which the Pirate Tries to Crochet.”
  1. Nikki says:

    How about making the chain with a hook one size up so it is easier to fit the regular size hook through?

  2. Carlin says:

    When I was (re)learning to crochet I had the most success with granny squares. It was easier to figure things out when I didn’t have to reverse my work for the next row.

    And I also have a cat who sleeps in the most crazy positions. Often he’ll stretch out on his back with his belly completely exposed. So much for survival instincts.

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