by Nola Redd
Are you having a tight Christmas this year? You've probably heard it said many times that homemade presents come from the heart. Why not see how well that holds true and teach yourself how to crochet!
You probably think I'm crazy, with this whole teach yourself thing. But the internet can be a big help in letting you teach yourself, and then there are numerous free patterns posted everywhere online. You can also check out books from the library that will walk you through the steps. After a little practice, you will be amazed what you can do!
With the holidays closing in, you probably don't have time to learn to make something huge. But little things can be quick and easy. For instance, if you have any babies on your list, a simple baby hat can be completed in about an hour once you have the hang of it. And once you are really confident, you can crochet while watching television, letting you both relax and be busy! Similarly, my six year old daughter loves the skull cap I made for her. The flower on top is darling!
Once you have gotten the hang of the basic stitches, Google "beginner crochet patterns." If you have something specific you want to make, then add it to your search. Hats and ponchos are fairly easy, as are some of the toys. Sweaters and mittens are harder. I recently had a girl from church ask me for two hats for her niece. I had just learned to change out the colors, so I made one hat green with a purple band in the middle, and the other hat purple with a green band in the middle (her color choices). They complimented each other nicely and made for a great gift!
How in the world can this be inexpensive? Well, a skein of yarn at most stores is around $2-3. So far, I have made four children's hats with my last skein, and still have some left over. Even if you made two sets of matching hats, that is only a few dollars.
The first time you sit down, make sure you won't be interrupted. Take your yarn and crocheting hook over to the computer. Practice making the basic stitches. When you are ready to start following an actual pattern, leave the page of basic stitches open so you can refer back to it when you wonder, "What is a dc again?" Make sure you start out with a beginner pattern, not an intermediate or expert. The more you practice, the more ready you will be to move up.
Crocheted crafts are pretty easy to do once you get the hang of them. Your loved ones will receive something that they know you picked out. Even teens will enjoy hats in their school colors. And this skill can be picked up fairly quickly, with just a little practice. Why not try a crocheted Christmas this year?
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