Today’s post is brought to you by one of my favorite ladies on the planet: Marci. You might remember her from my baby shower post, and you will definitely remember her after seeing her crocheting wizardry. So, without further ado…
As Mrs. Harpster nears her gestational term and is busy, busy, busy planning for the new baby, I offered to give her a little time back by writing a guest post. If I remember correctly, I had a nervous breakdown about this point because work expected me to get EVERYTHING done before I left for my maternity leave. At nine months pregnant you just need to put your feet up. So put your feet up LADY!
I had to rack my brain for one DIY project that would live up to the awesomeness that is The Harpster Home. The only tutorial I could come up with is crochet.
WAIT, DON’T GO. Crochet doesn’t have to be the dainty, doily, grandma-type stuff of another generation. It can be chunky, colorful, kitschy, and whatever else you want it to be. It definitely is NOT expensive. Yarn is cheap and so are the crochet hooks. Really that’s all you need — that, time and patience.
Also, I should mention that this is less of a tutorial; instead encouragement to teach yourself as I did — thank you YouTube!
A friend of ours would whip-up baby blankets, WEEKLY, and comment on how EASY it is. Being a perfectionist and a masochist, it was right up my ally.
To start off, give your self one small task to accomplish. I mean small, like a square. This will help you figure out how to hold the yarn, make a simple stitch, and feel accomplished quickly.
One year, everyone in my family got scarves for Christmas. I’ve never seen any of those scarves adorning their necks, BUT it did lead to other projects.
My most recent crochet projects have been baby blankets. I know a blanket seems like a BIG undertaking, but essentially it’s just one big granny square. So instead of trying to illustrate via chicken scratch or via poorly lit photos, I’m going to recommend you hop right over to YouTube and search for granny square tutorials.
The hardest part is the beginning. Get over that hump (ha) and it is very repetitive and almost soothing (for those of us crazy people that like keeping our hands busy anyways).
Here are some of my tips –
- Go to the store and buy a skein of yarn (that’s what the yarn balls are called) in your favorite color. Get some crochet hooks while you’re at it. You only need one but the packages have many sizes depending on the project. I just pick one in the middle.
- Get comfortable with your laptop or iPad and look up some granny square tutorials on YouTube. Find one you like and get comfortable with the pause button. Some videos I had to rewind several times, pause, and try again. (The blanket I made for baby Harpster is essentially one BIG granny square)
- Whatever you do, DON’T try and read the crochet patterns. I have no idea what all those letters mean or how the H-E-double hockey sticks they turn into something. Maybe if you learned the right old-fashioned way, it makes sense.
- Figure out how you want to hold the crochet hook, yarn, and the piece you’re working on. The tension is important so you’ll need to get familiar with it. This is the hardest part. You watch all these fingers on YouTube and think, “SLOW DOWN”. It’s akin to learning to tie your shoes. If you are like me, it will feel so foreign that it’s as if your fingers lost the ability to move independently
- If you get frustrated put it away for another day and have some wine.
- I actually made our Christmas stockings last year (they are pretty scary and sloppy but gotta love my husband who hangs them with pride)
- Seriously videos on YouTube. Even if you are just trying to fix your drier, DIY videos will walk help you problem solve.
- IF ALL ELSE FAILS, Pinterest has some really cool things you can make with all that extra yarn you bought. (Note from The Harpster Home: DON’T EVEN WASTE YOUR TIME WITH THOSE F$*%ING YARN-WRAPPED LETTERS.)
Here are some granny squares that I eventually stitched together to make a small blanket for my sister:
And the blanket for Baby Harpster completed and folded:
AND for all you Olive fans out there – here is Sammy modeling one of the first scarves I ever made. Ok, not really a scarf, but it was the first thing I had completed.