It begins with this. A crocheted dresser scarf that my aunt created sometime between 1945 and 1955. No pattern. She just whipped it out in an evening. I've kept it ever since I inherited it, because it's lovely. Dresser scarves haven't been used for decades, and I rarely find a place where I can display it; mostly it lives in a drawer.
My own crochet skills are limited to single and double crochet, primarily to make edges on knitted objects. I can look at the dresser scarf and recognize the regular crochet bits. But what about these little butterfly thingies? Okay, they're chains, but how do they get looped together?
So, I'm already curious about crochet. And then I hear someone in a podcast promote the idea of crochet for the button band on knit sweaters; it provides a firmer surface and far superior buttonholes, they say. It just happens that I am knitting a vest that will require a button band. And the directions for the buttonholes look pretty flakey.
Is there anything on my bookshelf about crochet? And especially with information on crocheted button bands? Yes, indeedy. The 1979 edition of "The Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Needlework," which I refer to frequently for instructions on knitting maneuvers that have been lost in the mists of time, has an entire section on crochet. Diagrams and illustrations show how to make buttonholes in both single and double crochet. The double-crochet version looks appealing—firm and well defined.
I'm thinking that my next knitting challenge may be crochet. Not just the button band for the clock vest, but an entire something. It would be fun to learn more technique and be able to wield a hook as well as I do my needles.