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Welcome to Dick’s Knots

Posted by Will Seabrook on

Note the newborn cap my grandson Asher is wearing.  I actually made that cap over 40 years ago for my own newborn son. We plan to pass the cap down through the years, forming a chain that will stitch together the generations. See what I did there with that pun?

Hello and welcome! I am Richard Hookinloop. I’ve been crocheting off and on for over 50 years, and I’m not about to stop now! I’ve made hats, vests, rope, bathmats, pictures and all sorts of other things using yarn, seine twine, sisal, string, copper wire, rope, rubber bands and much else. I’ve used hooks made out of metal, wood, plastic, twigs and tree limbs, reeds, dowels and more.

This new column gives me a chance to talk about one of my favorite pastimes — making new discoveries with a crochet hook and a bit of yarn. You see, crocheting is a sort of magic. After you’ve been at it a while amazing new items just sort of appear! You can make something small in an hour like a bracelet or something big in a year like a bedspread. You can whip together a big triangular shawl in a half a day and wear it to dinner. The bigger the hook you use the faster the work gets done, but with big hooks come big holes in your garment. With boas that may be OK but some garments you don’t want to see through.

Dick Hookinloop Handmade Scarves
The Cheverly Avenue Brass, sporting matching scarves crocheted by yours truly–also playing euphonium!  The trombone player is my son, the finest son ever to have graced this or any other world, and who had nothing to do with editing this caption. 

Crochet stitches are easy to make but they are deep and mysterious — you can lose yourself in them trying to follow all the strands of yarn. Knitting uses very simple stitches that you can see individually. An engineer could probably calculate all the stresses on a bunch of knitted stitches quite handily, but not crocheted stitches — the strands go every-which-way and often loop back on themselves. Some patterns feature larger components like Lianka’s Crocodile Stitch that I guarantee you’ll stare at for awhile before you figure out what’s going on!

Crochet, or crochet not. There is no try.

I’ll tell you about some of my more interesting projects in this column and give you a pattern or two if you’d like to try ’em. I’ll include helpful photos to give you an idea how the thing should look. I will also try to include references to where my ideas came from if I can — some ideas just seem to come from nowhere!

I like working with colors too. For example, I made a navy-blue afghan with white roses on it, an orange, brown and red crib blanket that looked like a brick wall, tiny going-home hats for newborns in soft pastel yarn, a sturdy pouch made out of seine twine for carrying pennywhistles to street gigs, long-tailed green and blue elf-hats, short pointed brown dwarf-hats, brightly colored dishcloths and pot holders.


Now, here’s a crochet song:

Ta-ra-ra boom dee ayy

What can you make today?

Pick up your favorite hook

And a new pattern book!

You’ll find a happy day,

Comes in your best crochet.

Get out your yarn today

And hook away!

Check in with me next month and I’ll have

a pattern and some more thoughts for you.

Happy hooking!

–Richard Hookinloop


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