I learned to crochet ages ago, when I was about 8. My mother handed me a book, some yarn, and a hook, and I proceeded to read the directions and teach myself. I haven't always crocheted; I had a time when embroidery was my thing. Mostly that was due to a lack of access to yarn and patterns. What 10 year old wants to crochet a baby blanket with whatever acrylic yarn could be found at a big box store? I didn't want a large project like a blanket, I wasn't going to have a baby at 10, and the patterns all were rather boring. Fast forward about 13 years, and I started looking at sweaters in stores. I loved the knitted fabric, and couldn't stand to pay the prices for them. I could make one, I thought, if I only knew how to knit. I had taught myself to crochet, so surely I could teach myself to knit. And I did. But I still love crochet. There is something immensely therapeutic and meditative about the rhythmic hook and twist motions. I have since discovered better yarns, and worked on a larger hook, they drape very nicely.
This is the poncho for the Princess for Christmas. It is missing the collar, which has been terribly troublesome. I love the way this looks and feels. I used a worsted weight yarn, and an H hook, which is normally big for that weight of yarn.
The yarn is Encore, and it's nice. I know it's relatively cheap, and that is partly the point. The poncho is not only seasonal, but also a fashion piece. And it's for a child who is growing like a weed.
I splurged a bit more on the birthday sweater for Little Man.
This one is Cascade 220. I like traditional workhorse yarns for the kids' sweaters. It helps them hold up. Not that my kids are rough on clothes...they really aren't. Staying at home most of the time provides that luxury of not usually having worn out knees or elbows.
Speaking of yarns, I think I would like to start a new endeavor. There are a lot of farms up this way, and I know of a couple of alpaca farms. I need to see if there is a mill up this way, and see what I can work together. It might be fun to create a new yarn. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, please leave them in the comments.