Monday, 8 February 2010

Crochet Placemats

A couple of months ago, I bought a bunch of Anchor Magicline cotton yarn on clearance. The pack came with 10 balls and a crochet pattern sheet for $9.95. I really liked the look of the placemat on the cover and so bought enough to make a set of placemats. Unfortunately, I have very little experience with crochet and kinda suck at it, so my attempt at following the pattern came out like this:

I guess, in the grand scheme of things, it's not horrendous. But I had envisioned a beautiful set of colourful placemats that will really fit in with the look of our new house (still not going up yet - trust me, you'll know when it is) and this just doesn't cut it. The main thing I disliked, other than the dodginess of my skills, was the way the colours didn't so much stripe as clump.

That one placemat sat incomplete for about 6 weeks, while I finished Christmas gifts and then worked on some other projects. I finally decided I needed to look at it again when I wanted a portable/brainless project that wasn't knitting (too hot to knit and my attempt at socks, the one thing that may be bearable to knit in the heat, is also a big fail). I tried a circle. It didn't lay flat. I tried another one. I thought my idea of making circular placemats was genius, afterall, plates are round. I don't have enough experience of crochet to make a flat circle, apparently, especially given I am anal about things like increases and they have to be uniform or my brain can't handle it. I needed a different approach. Here are my failed circles:

Meanwhile, I've been finding more Aussie crafty blogs to read (any suggestions much appreciated, especially if they're Sydney-based) and Pip over at Meet me at Mikes has been running a granny square intro course. I didn't want to make standard looking granny squares, but I did figure I could do something similar, starting in the centre and working my way out, increasing at the corners. The only problem was, the point where I was jumping up to the next row created a funny line thing. See:

There's probably a way to do this better, but I couldn't work it out. Then, another brainwave* occurs - I could do a spiral but make it like a granny square, increasing at the corners by stitching into the corner, making 2 chains and then stitching into the corner again. I didn't quite end up with a perfect square - one side has one more stitch than the other three - and I'm not confident I'll be able to recreate however I got it started, but I like it enough that I am now happy to pull out all the mistakes and attempt to make a matching set. I just have to decide what size to stop it at...

*probably not a new idea at all, but in case you hadn't worked it out, I'm very much winging this whole crochet thing. I don't even know if I am doing single or double crochet, to be honest. Apologies to any serious crocheters out there for any offence.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I like. I need someone to teach me properly too, I've learnt from videos and books. I hate granny squares, because they never turn out square for me, the corners are wider than the sides.

    p.s. If you use English terminology, you're doing double crochet, if using American terminology it's single crochet.