Retraining the Brain

Well, I've really enjoyed the Happy Hooker book so far. It far exceeds my expectations. And thank you Deneen for sending the error sheet to me for the patterns.

What is interesting in my search for knowledge and instruction is that I have done so many things wrong.

For instance, the only stitch I knew was essentially a slip stitch. I was chaining just fine, correctly, and then when I would start my 2nd row I was just going through the stitch, yarning over, and pulling all the loops over the hook. This was all I knew to do. So it was interesting to me to see how after doing this for half my life, and making what I considered to be cute hats and scarves, I really sucked!

The hard part for me now isn't learning stitches. It's easy now that I am following along in books and online. The hard part is that I also learned that I do things backwards. I don't know why, but I was, and it is such a difficult habit to break. I mean, damn near impossible. I was crocheting into the back loop only, okay for some patterns, but I was going from back to front instead of front to back. This is a huge problem. Everything I've seen and read shows a front to back progression. Insert the hook into the stitch from the front side. I did it always from the back side. Elementary, but it's a hard habit to break.

I also don't hold my hook properly, if there even is such a thing. Aesthetically, I don't care how I look when I am holding a hook, but it needs to work quickly and comfortably. The way I was doing it before, it felt fine and comfy and I was quick in my work. But working properly, it does not feel comfy, but holding it any other way feels alien to me. My hands will eventually find their own rhythm now that I am crocheting properly.

The last thing I learned, which I did learn from Debbie Stoller and I'm thankful for that, is where I should be inserting my hook in relation to each stitch. I always had a hard time with that whole front loop vs. back loop aspect. But when she put it in simple terms of the V and the butt, it's much easier. And I can see where my hook needs to go, and my God the stuff I'm crocheting is actually coming out the same way her photos look. So I'm quite pleased with the book.

That first row when you're working into the chain? It's very hard to do the right way compared to the wrong way. But when I do it the right way, I don't have those unsightly loops on one edge. Imagine that. It's nice to know I don't need to look at those ugly things, that it was an error on my part and not a flaw in crochet in general. Yep, I figured that crochet was flawed. Not me, no, no, it wasn't me, it was the craft! Haha.

Not quite as pleased with how difficult it is to break habits and retrain my brain and hands to crochet properly. It's such a process. I've been diligent though in learning to do things right. Not so diligent that I'll frog my current projects and start them over the right way. Afterall, the wrong way has worked for me for so long and with the exception of a few things, it ends up looking good (to someone who doesn't crochet especially). But I have made a 100% committment that from here on out, I do things correctly. I don't revert back to doing it the quick but incorrect way. It is slowing me down for sure, but I am guessing that after a month or so all my old habits will be mostly wiped out of my brain and I will be crocheting more in the advanced beginner category as opposed to hopeless-inventor-of-random-non-crochet-stitches.


Deneen said...
Friday, 09 March, 2007

Hold the hook how you hold the hook-there isn't a right and wrong way.

I imagine crocheting the from the back would be difficult for me to do and it'll work out for you, once you get the hang of it. I always do both looks unless it specifies otherwise (like for ribbing).

For the starting chain, I used to go under both loops, but now I do the "bump" thing on the back part, makes it easy for the second row and no gaps.

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