Hello, and welcome! I am so excited to begin this new adventure, and I am very happy you've joined me. A lot of people ask me where I learned to crochet. The short answer is I taught myself, but short answers never make for good stories!
The long of it is a much better tale:
My mom was gifted a crocheted blanket by her friend's mom years and years ago. It was a simple giant granny square, but it was warm and soft and pretty much the greatest blanket that had ever lived in our home. I'll just be honest here- I was super jealous. My mom loved that blanket, and she kept it in her bedroom for when she got too cold at night or needed an afternoon nap. Dammit, I wanted a crocheted blanket of my own!
Fast forward a couple of years, it is October and I find myself in the craft store ogling yarn (which remains one of my favorite things to do while out and about). I decided, "today is the day when I learn to crochet" and purchased a few skeins of yarn, 1 hook (what, was I crazy?) and a very thin book on How to Crochet. I decided I was going to make a blanket for my mom (and maybe she'd retire her other blanket and pass it along to me!) I began the blanket using single crochet because as a novice, I was unaware that any other stitches existed. I worked on it at night and during my downtime at work. It grew, but oh, so slowly. One day, a coworker saw me working on it, and she suggested that I do double crochet to make it go faster. She taught me how to DC, and I learned right then how to frog an entire skein of yarn and start over. (For those not in the know, "frogging" is the act of pulling out stitches. As you tug the yarn, you can hear your project saying "rip it, rip it" which is similar to "ribbit, ribbit" like frogs say)
I worked on that blanket all through October, November and December. My goal was to have it completed for a Christmas gift. (Did I mention I also had a toddler at the time?) On Christmas Eve, I was almost done. The only thing left was the border. I put the kiddo to bed, did the Santa ritual, and got to hooking. I fell asleep crocheting (the first time of literally hundreds to come), and in the morning I had to wrap up the blanket as it was. One completed throw blanket with 72% of a border. Maybe it was the lack of sleep, but I was in tears when she opened it. I was so mad at myself for not finishing it. She said she loved it though, and I took it back to finish it. Fun Fact: I did not have enough yarn to finish the border, and of course when I went back to the craft store I bought a different dye lot. If you look closely, you can see a small section of border that is a slightly different color.
I also did not realize at the time of creation or completion that the stupid blanket isn't even a rectangle. It's more of a trapezoid, and somehow that knowledge escaped me until very recently when my daughter (the aforementioned toddler, who is now nearing adulthood) pointed it out to me. She inherited that blanket after my mom passed- I finally got my hands on that giant granny blanket I was so envious of.
I have tried to count all of the blankets I have crocheted over the years, and I know I'm not remembering them all, but I know that I have to have made well over 30, and each one is better than the last. My husband, who is my biggest fan, doesn't believe that we will ever have enough crocheted blankets. Even my sweet little doggies have their own crocheted blankets! I have spent most of this year creating non-blanket items to stock my store with, and just a few weeks ago, that husband of mine asked me if I was planning on making him a new blanket for winter. Well, no, I wasn't. I figured we had more than enough blankets to get us through the winter, but when the man requests a blanket, the man gets a blanket. Maybe this one will be done in time for Christmas!