A note from Kathleen: As you all know, I'm a knitter. But I dabble in crochet (I did the Hemp Flowers Necklace a couple of years ago), and I was so excited to see the new book Crocheted Gifts. It's the sister book to Knitted Gifts, and it's a treasure trove of fun gift ideas. I like crochet for a number of reasons, but one of its big bonuses is that it's FAST! Start crocheting gifts now and you'll have time to make yourself one or two projects from the book, too. Here's Marcy Smith, the editor of Interweave Crochet, to tell us what inspired her to get hooked on a new project.
When I was little, I knew a kid who learned to finger crochet a chain and decided that he would make a chain long enough to reach the moon. I'm not sure if he had a plan for actually getting it to the moon, but he was utterly focused on the task. As he made the chain, he wound it into a ball; I watched his chain ball grow from the size of a tennis ball to the size of a volleyball. He was well on his way to Earthball size when I last saw him. I thought he was nuts.
Now, these many years later, I find myself doing the same thing, albeit in a more orchestrated way. Instead of wrapping my chain into a ball, I'm attaching them to slender double-triple chain loops to create Shawlette in Chains, designed by Kristin Omdahl. It's one of 25 enticing designs in Crocheted Gifts, edited by Kim Werker.
Even if you're the most novice of crocheters--or have yet to embrace this craft--this project is totally within your power. And it's a great way to perfect your tensioning for making chains. If you're afraid you'll perish of ennui before you finish, consider the garter stitch shawl. It's like that--serious repetition, but the unfolding beauty overshadows any tedium.
There's not much you need to know in order to create the Shawlette in Chains: chain stitch, slip stitch, double triple. OK, I felt your eyes roll there, but the double-triple is just the leggy Tina Turner version of double crochet. The book's glossary and stitch guide will help you. And I'll be giving more tips on the blog at CrochetMe.com (while you're there, sign up for the CrochetMe More enewsletter, where we'll give more tips for the Shawlette and other projects).
Maybe you want to work up to the Shawlette by doing the chain-stitch-based Color Chain Scarf. Worked in DK weight yarn, it will let you practice the movement of making chains before you dive into the laceweight splendor of the Shawlette. And you'll have a gift already done!
The book has lots of other gifts for newbie crocheters to make: a simple single-crochet Baby Berry Hat and Booties, Organic Indulgence Washcloths and Fast Friend Bracelets, as well as Floral Coasters by Sandi Wiseheart. More experienced crocheters will find a slew of lovely projects including the Trinity Lace Shrug by Annie Modesitt and the Sea Star Pendant by Katie Himmelberg.
Give it a whirl. I think you'll get hooked.
Editor, Interweave Crochet