Back in the day, I had a 40×40 list, a list of 40 things to do before I was 40. Well I turned 40, and upgraded the list. One of the things on that new list was – finish the old list! One of the things on that list? Crochet a top good enough to wear in public.
This is one that “ got away” and is as yet NOT completed; it got started and kind of merged into a different task on the list but for now there is no crocheted top. Let me take you back to the heady days of 2016…actually let’s go back a bit further, purely for contextual reasons…
I cannot knit; I have tried but I find it a very unforgiving medium. All of the dropped stitches and holes are evidence of your lack of skill and don’t get me started on tension, what is that about?!
My lack of skill is compounded by having a mother who delights in reminding me that she was knitting herself tops when she was nine years old, as she whips up an intricate lacy blanket while watching Coronation Street. I decided to learn a skill she is not an expert in, merely to avoid smug corrections with every stitch; I took up crochet.
Crochet is a lot more forgiving than knitting, you can literally make your own stitch up, and providing you use it consistently throughout the row it will potentially work. It is also more transportable and easy to pick up, especially if you go down the granny square route. This involves making either small squares with the intention of sewing them together at the end, or more intricate shapes like flowers. There is something quite satisfy about piles of completed squares, ready and waiting for you to sew them up.
If squares are not your style you can build up your work to look like knitting by casting on stitches and crocheting back and fore; this is my preferred method and how I intended making my top. Previously I had managed to make baby cardigans by making 2 Hexagon ‘squares’…okay sounds odd, but work with me here. If you create a five sided piece, it folds to create an upside down L shape. By sewing two of these together, bordering it and adding buttons, you have yourself a cardigan. This method doesn’t really work with bigger sizes, hence my using the ‘almost like knitting’ method to make my own top.
I started well. Using rose pink chunky wool I cast on enough stitches to go around my body. The plan was to create a panel up to my arm pits, then two rectangle pieces for my arms, and somehow stitch the lot together to form something, that if not completely, remotely resembled a cardigan. ( In fact 2016 me tells you all about it in this vlog)
What I failed to appreciate was the VERY chunky nature of the wool I was using (the ‘super chunky’ nature, as it were) By the time my piece was at the requisite depth for me to start on the arm pieces I had a very heavy mini blanket on my hands that was too thick to wrap around my body. I was now, in essence, the owner of a small, pink, floor mat. This was, of course, totally salvageable and I decide to use the Rose coloured rug in another project. However, this left me without a crochet piece for my 40 x 40; I have lots of half started work, but, for now, this task remains uncompleted and as such it has been migrated to the Kettle List and has become one of the uncompleted challenges that make up #2 – complete your 40 x 40.
This therefore means that for now this challenge is…