Last week, I had a night when I couldn't sleep, which was how I came to find myself learning to read Japanese crochet charts at 2am on a weeknight.
I bought the book Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts Lacy Crochet last year, fiddled around with a hook and some cotton for about half an hour then promptly forgot about it. So why I opened it at 2am last week is beyond me. I suspect it was out on the coffee table because I'd yet again been trying to sort out where to put my knitting (and crochet) books.
I like to crochet. It's what I did first. Every year I promise myself I'll do more of it and every year, I don't. But I want to! I really want to! Spending a sleepness night lost in Japanese charts seemed like a fun re-entry. Here's what the charts look like.
Unlike knitting charts, they pretty much look like what you'll end up with and if you know how to crochet already, it's pretty easy. Each stitch has its own symbol and away you go. If you don't know how to crochet, it's got handy pictures all through the book!
Here's what that chart turns into.
A doily! How about that? Two doilies in one week! This is for a swap, too. The same swap as the other doily is going to, actually. Which is kind of a pity because I think it looks nice under my green glass jug. I'll just have to make another.
You know what I learned in crocheting my first doily? That whole blocking thing is, on one hand, easier because this is what it looked like before I ironed it (as per instructions in the book). Not much different to the photos above, huh?
And while that's cool, I mean, who doesn't love something that's easy to finish, it can't possibly impress like the blocking process of lace knitting. That said, I still love it and I'll make more. Me and my hooks are going to be spending a lot more time together, I think.
Oh and I should mention the cotton I used. It was a bargain find. I passed a stack of this stuff almost every lunch time in the city at Top Dollar. I ignored it because, after all, how good could cheap as chips cotton from a dollar shop really be? One day, the call was too strong when I saw an open packet of it on the table. Surprise! It felt lovely and soft and I noticed there were some great colours. At $2.50 a 50g ball, why not try it, thought I.
It's Yatsal Crochet Cotton - 4ply. I'm planning on snapping up a whole lot more some time this week, unless everyone else has found out about it!
15 hours ago