Spending Sunday evening in stitches

For some time now, I’ve been rather in awe of a church friend’s crochet skills. During sermons I’d watch her hooking away (in a similar nature to the girl I once used to observe knitting) and was stunned at how quickly she could produce something rather decent – like a tea-cosy:

Battenburg Tea Cosy (Photo: J. North)

Chatting in the pub after church, while the crochet expert continued her work, she proposed organising classes on Sundays so that wannabe hookers [I’m thinking that probably isn’t the correct term for a practitioner of crochet, but I rather like it] could have a go. This Sunday a message popped up on Facebook indicating that wool & hooks would be available in the pub pre-church, so I decided to head over and have a go.
I’m not particularly wool-proficient. I can’t knit – mainly because my Mum’s left-handed so couldn’t pass the skill on to her daughters. However, I ought to have learned crochet in my youth as my Dad was, during his hippy phase, quite the hooker [I’m now seeing why this might be a problematic term to use…] and even crocheted a few blankets for me when I was small. 
[Tangent: My Dad has become a devoted reader of my blog, meaning that I now have fewer stories to tell during our phone calls. I’d like to think he could possibly weigh-in on this post and share with the world how he came to learn crochet, because for the life of me I can’t remember how it happened – if I’ve ever known it. I’m guessing it’s probably a skill picked up during his long convalescence after breaking his leg falling off a cliff…
Anyway, so yesterday evening saw me with a ball of red wool in my lap, a hook in my right hand and an arrangement of wool in my left hand. I learnt a basic chain stitch to begin with and then moved on to more complicated things. Chain stitch wasn’t so tricky – in fact, after 15 minutes I was teaching Mr Jackson how to do it after he stumbled upon the crochet gathering – but I made my chain too tight, which made the next stage rather more complicated. But after an hour of learning I was fairly addicted and loath to put away the supplies in order to get to church in time. 
The best thing about the crochet lesson was the way in which people were drawn into the activity – friends and strangers alike. In fact at one point the pub’s landlord appeared and seemed bemused that a space that had hosted rowdy rugby fans just a couple of hours earlier now contained a book club and what looked like a young Women’s Institute (albeit including two men). 
My attempt at chain stitch and Mr Jackson looking particularly special with his hook & pink wool (to match his shirt). 
Quite honestly, I’m almost on the verge of buying my own hook and some wool so I can get some serious crochet time in while on holiday next week. It’s been ages since I learnt a new craft (not since needle felting a year ago) and I like things that keep my hands busy while I watch TV. Plus, I’d quite like to make one of these: 
Crocheted hairband, as modelled by the crochet teacher. (Photo: J. North)

PS: Having stumbled upon ‘hooker’ as a term for a person engaged in the activity of crochet, it seems the crochet club may become known as ‘The Hookers’. Joyous – now that’s a club to include on one’s CV… 


  1. And there I was thinking you were talking about the middle front row in rugby!

    Am determined to learn to knit in due course – want to make my own knitivity for Christmas!

  2. ehem.

  3. I am sorry Phil – but it was the only photo I had of anyone actually crocheting!

  4. Liz’s dad here. I got into crochet 40 years ago as a way of competing with the girls in my student bible study. They all knitted, which looked much too complicated. i had long hair then, which rather fazed the ladies serving in the local haberdashers.

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