crochet kitten completed

kittenonwhirlyI thought the crochet kitten was going to be one of those doomed projects that are never completed.

I had problems with my crochet hooks. I have two sets of hooks my mother gave me. I trusted the sizes marked on them. So the first time I crocheted the body of the kitten, it used most of the yarn (and my scrap from the stash was sufficient according to the pattern), and seemed rather large, so I unravelled it. This mohair was particularly difficult to unravel (some are not so difficult, but I find all sufficiently sticky to be able to just twist a few overlapping centimetres of yarn when introducing a new ball, thus reducing the number of ends to be sewn in when a project is finished).

setofhooksThe second time, I selected a hook from a different set, not thinking they might be unreliably marked. The crochet was very difficult. I thought the problem was that the mohair had been unravelled. However, after a week or two of little progress, I pulled out my knitting needle gauge and started measuring the diameter of crochet hooks. I had exchanged a hook that was far too large for one that was slightly small. I could not bear to pull out the work again, it was just too difficult. So I tried another hook, a different brand, the same actual size as the hook I had been using, and suddenly it was much easier to work. (So sometimes it is the tools, and not the tradesman, and I can’t tell you how much it upsets me to hear of people learning to knit on horrible old op shop needles with cheap acrylic yarn.) I would have bought more yarn at that stage, if the work had continued to be difficult.

samesizehooksAfter that, I ran out of yarn, as happens to people using scraps from their stash. I had weighed the scrap, but there is a lot of difference in the density of mohair yarns, even if the ‘ply’ is the same. This may have been a heavier yarn than that used in the pattern.

The stash provided another scrap that was similar tone to that used, although definitely not the same colour (one is grey, the other brown). However, it needed to make just two legs, and the back of the head. I crocheted the back of the head during a heatwave, while playing with my son. Bad idea. Somehow the back of the head turned into a hexagon, while the front is a pentagon. We were on holidays, without the crochet hook or pattern, when I noticed. My son protested when I mentioned pulling it out. unravelmohairHowever, pulling out just a round or two of crochet (and this mohair was easier to unravel than the first) made the circumference of the two head pieces similar enough for me to be able to stitch them together, and now we have a kitten that my son has shown almost everyone he knows.

kittensheadFunniest moment: we sat on a ‘free’ shuttle bus while on holidays. I was next to a cool teenage surfie type, my son sat next to his cousin in front of us (both 7 years old), and discussed knitting and crochet. Maybe the cool surfie didn’t listen, but I enjoyed imagining what he would think of the conversation in front of him. Of course, he could be a knitter himself…


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