I try my hand at a “beginner’s” project

When I first learned to crochet, I lived in Bella Vista, California.

At the time, the population of the metropolis I called home was approximately 900 people. There was a post office, a grocery store (that sold, among other things, live bait), a school, and a church.

The limited services available near my home meant that I often drove into the City of Redding when I wanted to go to a bookstore or use the local library, and while the library’s selection of crochet titles was not what could be described as munificent, there was one crochet book that graced the shelves of the public library that stood out from all the others: James Walters’ Crochet Workshop.

The book was excellent and (to my horror) out-of-print. Desperately wanting a copy of my own, I scoured used bookstores to no avail.

Fortunately for me, the internet has changed all that, and several years ago, I acquired my own copy of this wonderful compendium of crochet knowledge:

Crochet Workshop
My copy of James Walters’ Crochet Workshop

At the time I first read through this book, I did not know enough to be able to do the 9-round beginner’s project detailed on pages 72 and 73. Today, however, I needed something to work on during my son’s trumpet lesson, and the beginner’s project seemed to me the perfect thing to while away three-quarters of an hour.

Because the purpose of this project is to learn as much as possible about crochet stitches, I needed a light colored yarn to best see the stitches and settled on using the workhorse of neutral yarns: off-white.

After looking over the options in the stash acquisition I had purchased from the same trumpet teacher we were about to see, I settled on this acrylic yarn in the color known as “winter white”:

vintage worsted weight yarn
Vintage winter white worsted weight Creslan yarn

Using my 4.5 Etimo hook, I followed the directions.

My efforts were not without error, and twice I had to frog an entire round to get to reach my mistake:

beginner crochet project
The first four rounds of James Walters’ beginner’s crochet project

But part of the charm and joy of crochet is that unlike many things, when correction is necessary, it is easy unravel to the source of the trouble, correct the mistake, and once again move forward.

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4 thoughts on “I try my hand at a “beginner’s” project

  1. It is from you that I learned the term “frog.” I hesitantly used it when speaking to my daughter and got the expected “WHAT?” I blithely replied, “You know, FROG, like RIBBIT, as in RIP IT or TEAR IT OUT.” Don’t have a clue from where in my head that came. So I ask you, where did the term FROG come from?

  2. I love that we can now find vintage and out of print books via the internet!

    I’ve known how to crochet since I was a kid, but I recently came across a terrific book that I figured could probably teach me a thing or two. And it has! Starting with the term ‘frogging a project’! I also learned that I was placing most stitches one spot behind where I should, and how to make a proper picot, and a flat, circle. I would strongly suggest everyone get the Stitch’n’Bitch book for Crocheters called The Happy Hooker! So much useful, simply explained, well diagrammed info! Not to mention, the gal is funny! Thanks for sharing your vintage find!

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