Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Hobby of Crochet

By Christina VanGinkel

I have been a crocheter for as long as I can remember. I love sitting with yarn and hook and creating anything from an ordinary washcloth, to a little girls treasured doll. I have also made blankets and layettes, potholders, slippers, little girl's ponchos, shawls, doilies, and many other pieces through the years. I have even dabbled in crocheting with beads and wire for some very fun pieces of jewelry. I think that was the original draw for me towards crochet. I had tried knitting, but it seemed so complicated, while with crochet, having only the one hook, made it seem much more simple, and therefore, much easier to manipulate. With various stitches and such a wide range of materials, the sky really is the limit with crochet, not to mention that designing new pieces is a love of mine. I have had over fifty designs premiered in national publications, and while I have not sold any new designs recently, the draw of it is still there.

With all of this, I had not touched my crochet supplies in quite some time. Not surprising really, as I seem to go in patterns (no pun intended!) where I crochet for months on end, and then tend to not touch my yarns and hooks for nearly as long. However, I am going to be housebound for a few weeks after a having surgery next week, and decided that besides visiting here on the computer, I should pick ups some yarn for a couple of projects to work on.

While I cannot say that I have not been in the yarn section of any stores in quite a long time, I can say that I must not have been paying much attention to the yarn on the shelves. A few years back, a product called Fun Fur hit the market, and people who had never crocheted or knitted a day in their lives, were suddenly wanting to learn, or were begging friends and coworkers, relatives, whoever they could find that knew how to, to make them scarves and mittens, hats and more with this wonderfully fun yarn. The makers of this yarn, along with other companies, apparently saw the incentive of coming up with even more novelty yarns and getting them on the store shelves for the average crafts person.

While novelty yarns are not new, unless you went to a specialty shop or had access to a catalog that handles yarn of this type, you could not find it. Now, even our local Wal-Mart seems to have more novelty yarns than I could ever need or want. The colors are in hues that look more as if they belong in some specialty candy shop than on a rack of yarn. The textures are almost indescribable. Some are soft, some silky, some soft and silky. There are some with ribbon running throughout the skein, and others that when you work the yarn up into a project, you know the finished piece will be covered with bumps of soft puff every so often.

One yarn that intrigued me was the color of blue moon ice cream and had tiny flecks that looked like raspberries every few inches. It was so soft that one could just sit and run the yarn through their fingers as a stress reliever! I did not buy any, as I was not sure what I could make with it. When I told my daughter about it though, she said that it would probably work up into a scarf or mittens quite well. So one of my final trips to the store before I am not able to get out for a few weeks is to stop and buy a few skeins of it. Once I crochet a few rows with it too, if it is as nice as I think it will be, I can always order some more online and maybe make a blanket throw out of it.

If you have not checked out any of the new yarns lately, now is a good time to do so. Be prepared to be amazed though, as I would never have thought of yarns as wondrous as what is now so readily available.

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