This year I’ve resumed the daily Crochet Question of the Day that I sporadically did via social networking last year. I’m more organized about it this year, though, so each day you will be able to find the question (and answer it if you wish) via multiple channels including Facebook, G+ and Twitter. The easiest way to keep up with the daily questions is probably to follow and check the Crochet Question of the Day Board that I set up. Plus at the end of each month I’m doing a roundup of all of the questions I asked and some of the best answers I received! Here’s January’s roundup.
What Are Your 2013 Crochet Goals?
I asked, “What are your crafty plans/ goals/ hopes/ dreams for 2013?” I discussed my crochet goals and my crochet blogging goals here on Crochet Concupiscence. Some of the best answers others gave were:
Rebecca Huben said: “I wanted to learn crochet solely for amigurumi / toys. Now that I have the basic stitches down I think I want to try a garment of some sort. I’ve done 2 cowls and I have a blanket in progress. Still no toys?! :)”
Pretty Little Homemade Things said: “I plan to learn some of the new stitches I keep pinning on Pinterest”.
What Is Your Very Favorite Crochet Stitch?
I said: “My favorite to look at is the bullion just because it’s so different but it’s not that fun to do with most yarn types” and I added that I also like hdc and post stitches.
Mia said: “This is a hard question to answer. I love them all, each one is great in some some aspect. If I had to choose, I guess I would say the shell stitch. It’s my go to, quick, easy, no fail way to add a little flair to almost anything.”
Threadcrafts had some good suggestions: “basketweave among the bulky ones and trellis, shells and fans for the intricate ones”.
What Do You Call Yourself?
I always love asking this question! I asked: “Do you call yourself a crocheter, an artist, an artisan, a fiber artist, a crafter, a maker, a creator, a small business owner … or something else?” Several people said “hooker” or some variation thereof. Other great answers included:
Irene Lundgaard said: “Crocheter first and foremost, always Crochet Faclitator and sometimes Master Crocheter – and small business owner too.”
Danielle Branch said: “I am making crochet products for my friends store. She referred to make as an artist! I like that!”
And Betty Jean Philippi joked: “You don’t WANT to hear what I call myself when I’ve fouled up a pattern! @&$^%#!!!”
There were lots more answers on Facebook!
What is Your Crochet Intention?
I asked: “What is an intention you can set for your crochet work? Mine, as described in today’s post on my personal crochet crafting goals for this year is: “Crochet is a way to heal myself and others. I will always come to it with a creative and open mind and a desire to use it to do good in some small way.”
Not too many people were brave enough to answer this one but Catherine C Reed smartly said: “I take advantage of the complete freedom to make crazy stuff.”
How Do You Like To Learn Crochet?
I asked: “Do you prefer patterns that are written, visual symbol charts or video instructions?”
People had A LOT to say about this one, especially on Facebook. It was definitely mixed but I was surprised to see that a lot of people were like me and prefer written patterns!
Shannon Lewis said: “Written, but thats probably cause that is what I learned on and have used more than anything else. Videos help for tricky things.”
And Diane Sherman said: “I think symbols are the cat’s pajamas! But I’ll slog through written if I have to. I think I started crocheting before there were symbols (is that possible,lol!) and I struggled to understand written. So when I discovered symbols, following a pattern became a breeze.”
@BarbieCat1 on Twitter said: “I often use both, one to re-enforce the other. Some instructions are clearer… sometimes a chart will be better.”
And Underground Crafter made a great point: “It depends on where I’m crocheting. I like symbol charts a lot, but find them harder to follow when commuting. So for a subway project, written patterns are way better! I don’t really like video patterns – I’m way too impatient. I will watch a video to learn a technique but can’t sit through an hour to make something.”
What Era of Crochet Interests You Most
I mentioned that I really like 1970s crochet art, which I’ve grown interested in more and more as I’ve researched the era.
Be Ganacias said: “All … I love the older things but there are new innovations that just amaze me.”
Stephanie Jennings said: “I LOVE the crochet from the 70s and 80s. I was born in early 80s and started crocheting in 88. Although I may be young for that generation it is still something that I look at as a life long favorite.”
Other Facebook answers here.
What Do You Think About Granny Squares?
Danielle Branch says: “I cut my crochet teeth on granny squares; I’ve done enough to make it to the moon and back! I’ve recently discovered that my problem with granny squares is actually the various color combos. A granny square with two or three different colors at the most is ok!”
Who in your life do you most enjoy crocheting items for?
I loved that there were a lot of people that answered “me” because so many crocheters don’t take enough time to crochet just for themselves! @gingerbreadbun on Twitter said: “I see so many things for me I couldn’t possibly not crochet for me!”
Many people were inspired by kids in their lives. Lots of people specifically said they like crocheting best for the folks they know will appreciate it including other crafters.
Julie A. Rogers said: “I just love to crochet and knit and if I find someone who wants the item, that is who I enjoy doing it for.”
On G+ Sabrina Benton said: “Anyone who appreciates what they are given, I don’t think I have a favorite muse at this time. It is all about who I am in the mood to make something for that day.”
On Twitter @Soxymamma said: “My BFF! Everything I make looks FAB on her! Is it because I know her so well?”
How Has Crochet Helped Your Health?
Obviously, this is a topic I never tire of talking about, considering I wrote a book about it! But I don’t just want to spout my opinions, I want to hear from others and I was excited to see this topic take off!
Some of my favorite Facebook answers were:
Lori Wade Miller said that crochet helps stop her from evening snacking. I’m so glad someone mentioned this. I talk a little about diet as it relates to crochet in Crochet Saved My Life but it’s not a topic widely covered and I love hearing more about it. It is beneficial because it keeps both hands and mind busy. This also makes it useful for stopping addictive behaviors. Sheriva Scott mentioned that it helps her stay away from cigarettes, which she quit three years ago.
Jan Carruthers shared the important point that: “It keeps my fingers supple as I have arthritis.”
Some of my favorite answers from other social media:
What is your opinion of brand designers who incorporate crochet into their runway work?
There were some super smart answers to this important topic.
Belle Monde Handmade said: “I’m all for it – it elevates the craft!”
Michelle Goulder made an important point: “It’s fab. As long as they’re paying decent rates and not using cheap overseas labour to produce it.”
And Kelly Holaday Brackett said: “I love the fact that crochet, unlike knitting, is ALWAYS done by hand! Whenever I see a crochet item “on the rack”–whether it be in a small boutique shop or in a big-box store, I wonder who stitched it, what her life is like, does she have a family, what part of the world does she live in? Even if “cheap overseas labour” is used, that laborer is working to better herself and her family in an honorable way!” I responded to that one: “There are a lot of good companies that pay fair trade wages to crocheters in other countries, allowing them to support their families in good working conditions while practicing a craft / skill. And yes, there is no machine that does crochet so you know that it’s handcrafted!”
What is the best way to organize your crochet hooks? How do you sort and store them?
I had already gotten some terrific ideas about this from asking it last year but wanted to hear some others.
Several people said vases including @cmouse01 on Twitter who said: “I keep a traveling padded case for a full set of hooks in my bag, but the extras are in a vase.”
And @MrsJCraftypants said: “mine simply live in a little clay pent pot that I made with my daughter a long time ago and that is despite having made myself a very nice little booklet holder thingy specially for them.”
If you could take a crochet retreat in any city of the world, where would you choose?
There were so many great answers! I loved the variety: Big Sur CA, Aspen, Santorini, Normandy, Florida beaches, Austria, any countryside …
Irene Lundgaard said: “I take a crochet retreat every week in the metropolis of Tinahely, Co Wicklow, Ireland.”
Nigel John said: “Peru, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Nepal!! But my 1st stop next week is NYC.”
On Twitter @susanbsnippy said: “how about north Ireland to learn some Irish lace making?”
And @crochetdynamite said: “London. Great museums for inspiration. Gloomy weather so I want to curl up and work. Pubs at night!”
There is a lot of math in crochet. How do you feel about that?
@craftfingers said: “I feel creative b/c it combines math/structure with beautiful crafting to make something fantastic. Two worlds meet!”
And @Nynaeve2k said that it all comes naturally since she’s an accountant!
Have you ever resented something you were crocheting? Why? What did you do about it?
Marie (@UCrafter) said on Twitter: “Yes! When I have a project due for someone else and/or on deadline & I discover something fun I’d like to start right away!”
@CraftyChica on Twitter said: “When I know it’s coming out wonky and I keep going anyway…it all works out in the end, right?”
DixieCrane had a gripe I can understand: “Yes…more than once I’ve tried to crochet a pair of socks & they don’t turn out exactly the same size. It really bugs me!”
What type of crochet hooks are your favorite? Aluminum? Steel? Handcrafted? Specific brand?
@CrochetKitten made me laugh a little with her answer on Twitter: “I like wooden crochet hooks. Unfortunately, so does the guinea pig.”
@SoxyMamma on Twitter answered: “Love beautiful carved wood and light in the hand bamboo but I am a Boye girl. I know when and where I drop aluminum hooks.”
@Crackerbelle2 said: “I love Susan bates because they are a little pointed on the end.”
What are the positive and negative things that you say to yourself as you crochet?
Be Ganacias said with a smile: “No ..I don’t like that” and “Ok … That’s better”.
Lorie Hartman answered humorously: “1 dc,2 dc,3 dc… wait that’s not right. -1 dc, – 2 dc, -3 dc..”
But Angela Glidewell truly made my smile most by saying: “I use a lot of the time to pray. I like to listen to music. I try to avoid negative thoughts.” We all know that I believe in the power of mindful crochet!
Which stage of the crochet process do you enjoy the most – planning the project, working on it or completing it?
@CrochetKitten said on Twitter: “Completing it if it turns out the way I like. If not, then planning it.”
@twistnknot said: “I enjoying the planning and working stages. I love coming up with different designs and testing them with creation.”
What is the #1 way that Crochet Makes You Feel Creative?
On Twitter @BrookeRocker answered: “The multiple color combos and changing of a stitch or hook size. Plenty of ways to be creative w/it!!”
Sharon Knight said: “I have a hard time sticking to a pattern, most of the time I go off on my own way, going with my imagination. So far I’ve been pretty successful. My projects may not look like the patterns but they are my own creations. The only problem with that is I can’t always remember how I did something.”
And Jacqui Cahn said: “I dream of texture and colour”. Beautiful!
What are your favorite crochet books?
On Pinterest Melanie Davies’ mum Dianne answered: “Favourite book has to be the Encyclopedia of 300 Crochet Patterns, Stitches, and Designs by Doris M Smith. It’s invaluable because it shows the USA crochet stitches (I’m in the UK).”
More answers on Facebook.
What TV show or movie have you seen that has crochet in it?
@vickyfully said: “Amy Farrah Fowler’s granny afghan on her couch in “Big Bang Theory”.
Curious what other shows have crochet? Check out the terrific answers here.
What type of material do you like to crochet with other than yarn?
I love learning about alternative material crochet. Answers included, string, thread, twine, wire, paper, plarn and rope.
I loved hearing from Irene Lundgaard on this one. She said: “Well, I only just loaded photos of my crochet with Manila Twine and Candlewick cotton. Harsh, fun and sculptural materials. Loved it!”
Stéphane Aurore Koné pointed out that it’s fun to work with alternative materials but sometimes it’s hard to figure out which hook to use! Very true? Have you seen the HUGE hooks that Ivano Vitali uses to crochet newspaper?
What have you done (if anything) to be eco-friendly in your crochet work?
I loved these answers! Using recycled T-shirt yarn, thrift store yarn and plastic bag yarn (plarn) were top answers.
Stacy Theoharis O’Rear has used locally farm-raised fiber.
Erin Busby says, “I generally choose natural fibers and dyes over synthetics.”
And Sue Hilsdon reminds us that frogging projects and re-using the yarn is a way to be eco-friendly as well.
A pattern you’re working through isn’t working out. What do you do?
Carrie Olin-Dyke says: “I usually undo and try a different yarn. My gauge is ALWAYS off!” Several other people also mentioned undoing it and working it in different creative ways. Sue Hilsdon said: “ignore the pattern, use my eyes and work it an easier way!”
Marinke Slump says: “Do the math and fix it, and if that doesn’t work rip it out, sulk and forget my pain by running to the LYS”
Riannon Rodrigues laughs: “Have a temper tantrum and then eat cookies.”
Debbie Shoutz Daugherty said one variation of what many people said: “Set it down for awhile and come back to it later.” That’s probably the smart way to do it!
I really loved the community spirit of Dana Bincer’s answer who said on G+: “See if a friend can figure it out…if not…frog the project and make something else!”
And finally I’m really glad that Eleven handmade crochets pointed out: “I would ask the designer for help – they are very helpful folks. I’m actually surprised no one yet has had this answer. That is the advantage of buying patterns from indie designers – you get pattern help!”
More on Facebook.
What are your thoughts on people who crochet items for their pets?
Interesting answers on this one!
Charlotte Clark said, “As long as they’re not putting their pets into silly costumes. This time of year they do need something to keep them warm (especially the little animals.)” And Debbie Shoutz Daugherty agreed with that, saying “I crocheted a sweater for our chi and it helps to keep him warm, so it serves a useful purpose!”
People generally seemed more interested in making stuff for dogs than cats. However, Carolin Brief pointed out: “Depends…I wouldn’t dress my cats up in anything. But I think crocheting cat toys yourself is great. I once made a fake mouse stuffed with catnip, a small bell, and cotton…the cats loved it.”
Erin Busby said, “Honestly, I have the same thought about that as I do about yarn-bombing: kind of awesome, but not close enough in the awesome/cost ratio for me to do it, myself.”
Marinke Slump said, “Why not, right? Although I would never crochet a stuffed toy or anything for pets; just the though of them getting ripped to shreds and little bits of yarn makes me shiver!”
On Twitter @twistnknot made a point I agree with: “I think it is great if your pet likes what you make. Some people take it overboard and you can tell the pet isn’t happy.”
How many crochet hooks do you own? How many is too many?
Lots of people had funny things to say about that. Like Anne-Marie Rutella who asked, “Does this include the ones I lost down the couch?” I hear that!
Karren Sis Morton said: “Probably 50. I pick them up at yard sales,,,but I give them away when I teach someone to crochet. I use Laurel Hill wooden hooks for myself,,,I have the whole set and keep them in my hook case at all times … very “protective” of my favorite hooks!!”
I admit my favorite answer was because it was a personal answer for me. Pamela Marshall Ganné said: “Directly because of you I know own 2 tiny silver metal ones, 2 medium plastic one, and 3 medium bamboo ones and I don’t know how to crochet!!!”
Find more answers on Facebook.
It’s tough coming up with new crochet questions every day. Got any you’d like me to ask? Share them in the comments below!