Crocheting can be this sweet
When I look at crochet instructions on the internet, my nightmare memories of crochet calamities come back to haunt me. The pictures from the various instruction sites (“Crocheting made easy” – a likely tale!) bring back the craft lessons in the handicraft room of my primary school. “Wind the thread twice round your left index finger, hold the end of the thread between the tips of your middle finger and your thumb …,” – I can still hear the voice of my handicraft teacher, a resolute elderly lady. No matter how hard I tried: for me, crocheting always meant contorted fingers and tangled threads – something doubtless not entirely unconnected with her efforts to teach me, a left-hander, to at least do crochet “properly” like a right-hander. So it’s all the more astounding for me as a crochet bungler to see what artistic things other people are able to make with crochet needles, hands and threads.
It all began last year around Christmastime: in the search for motifs for Krones’ Christmas cards, my colleague Kerstin hit upon the idea of crocheting scarves, pullovers and caps for bottles. What does this creative handicraft hobbyist find so particularly wonderful about crocheting? “You’re flexible, and you can do it anywhere. It’s not like sewing, where you’re always tied to a sewing machine. What’s more, in contrast to sewing, crocheting is quiet – and it relaxes you,” she tells me. And if, like Kerstin, you quite often crochet on the bus, you frequently get people talking to you about it: “Elderly ladies, in particular, are enthusiastic when they see me crocheting small animal figures, for instance. It’s something different from scarves or caps.”
Her most recent crochet project, however, was one size larger – though also intended for someone very small. Because Konstantin, born only a few weeks ago, can look forward to a nice warm hooded pullover, with elephant buttons, even! Meanwhile I’m starting to get a little envious: I’d like to be able to do something like that as well. Anyone who’s curious about this can get some inspiration at Kerstin’s blog under www.anjizilla.de, where shortly there’s also going to be some Christmastime crochet instructions.
Kerstin’s Christmas time crocheting campaign was not without its consequences: another colleague, Angelika, was also overcome by crochet fever! A fortunate turn of events – because since then she’s been making small works of art, which have already been harvesting waves of enthusiasm. Her tip for crochet bunglers like me: “You mustn’t be too much of a perfectionist at first, because otherwise you’re only going to be disappointed!”
It’s easy, of course, for Angelika to talk – her crocheted Christmas messengers are incredibly sweet. Figures like this, by the way, Kerstin and Angelika explained to me, are called amigurumis. The designation for the small (animal) figures comes from Japanese. And you can’t make these things quickly in passing, while you’re watching TV, for example. “You have to keep an accurate count and concentrate properly,” says Angelika. But she also likes crocheting scarves and caps in passing. The small reindeer with a scarf took her about two hours – that almost left my speechless: that would probably take me a lifetime.
What do Kerstin and Angelika do with all their crocheted creations? Give them away, of course, and that’s the right cue: Christmas is coming! So if you’re looking for a creative, personalised gift, you can’t go wrong with something you’ve crocheted yourself. Perhaps I’ll also try my luck again, and attempt an amigurumi figure. In an emergency, of course, I can turn the brown reindeer into an Easter bunny, if it turns out I need a bit more time. Mind you – I’m not sure if people would notice any difference between the two animals if I made them?