The Taming of the Wild Hook

I, who have never been known for my exactitude in yarn, now must be exact.


I must count stitches to a precise number. I must make gauge where my work is an actual square that fits in a 5” measurement. Gone are the free-form blobs, random rectangles and spontaneous shapes. I must make 16 swatches. Gone is the girl who never makes swatches.

I must weave in my ends (gasp!) yet weaving them in is not enough! No, I must do it invisibly, like a yarn magician, a yarnician, if you will.

Why me? Why this? Why now?

I’m turning 50 this summer and about due for a New Thing. I’m happiest when I am working on some difficult quest (such as grad school while working full-time, writing 50K words in a month, practicing public speaking as a mortifyingly shy person or collecting obscure crochet patterns from the 1970s). When a new friend mentioned there was a certified yarn instructor program from the Craft Yarn Council, I got excited. Why?

  • I like learning.
  • I like teaching.
  • I LOVE certificates.

If I can successfully finish this program, I will get a certificate. With my name on it!

But, between me and my certificate, there are obstacles.

You could describe my current crochet style as:

  • Loosey-goosey
  • Willy-nilly
  • Happy-go-lucky
  • Catch-as-catch-can

Some days, you might even call it higgledy-piggledy.

If you know my philosophy, then you will understand my wild ways.

I believe you can do no wrong with yarn. Fiber is forgiving. Anything that happens with you, the yarn and the hook is an experiment. Some experiments don’t end with anything functional, but the process matters. The act alone of looping loops is worth the time.

Because of this love, it has been a joy to teach friends how to crochet. Finishing this program will show I have the fundamentals to not just teach people, but teach them correctly. I will be a responsible, knowledgeable crafter as I pass on my obsession passion to others. But first, I have to know the fundamentals.

Have you ever had the experience where the more you learn, the less you know? I have been crocheting 8 years now, and I know less today than ever! I might know next to nothing about crochet!

Before I started working on the program, I thought I was an intermediate crocheter, probably close to advanced.

I hesitate to call myself a strong beginner at this point. Maybe just: Old Beginner. Gen, the Old Beginner.

Now I seek to begin again in my second half-century and remake myself into a neat and meticulous maker of the stitch. Will it work out? Will I change my reckless carefree ways? I have until December 1 to find out. Wish me luck, friends!


2 thoughts on “The Taming of the Wild Hook

  1. Wow! I feel your angst on starting over having caught up to the halfway mark on your knit – crochet mark! I find myself calling on my knitters (that I taught to knit) to help fix my errors! Or they are sometimes showing me how to—-! Sometimes it’s like a complete turn around . For sure knitting and crochet is a constant learning experience! And for me- the best of the best! Most recent has been learning to crow knit. Sure wish we could have you in our group!!!!!

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