I've recently been teaching myself to crochet using the stitch 'n' bitch crochet book ("Happy Hooker" Stoller, D). Used up a couple of balls of really cheap acrylic practicing the various stitches/techniques and I've really come to love it, even though as a knitter it feels all wrong to be dropping stitches all over the place! The huge advantage of crochet is that I can do it on the train without poking the person next to me with knitting needles. the book is really excellent, I picked up the basic idea immediately and there is a nice balance in the book between suggested projects and information/stitch patterns - the history of crochet at the start is a nice touch. Unlike when I learnt to knit the instructions in the book are really clear AND well illustrated, with knitting I couldn't even work out how to cast on from a book.
I decided to try one of the projects in Stoller's book and thought it would be a good opportunity to use up some stashed yarn. I chose in the end a lovely open-grid hat (in pic) and scarf. The pattern is called Spring in Winter and had contrasting trims on both hat and scarf with the scarf being inverse colours to the hat but I decided on a plainer version. There were instructions for a crochet flower to pin or stitch on which I left out. I also made the scarf wider and longer than the pattern suggested; skinny scarfs are not my dish.
The hat in particular is great because the openness means your head doesn't get too hot when walking about. On the other hand the book suggests wearing them in spring yet it kept me perfectly warm in sub-zero Febuary. Guess it wouldn't be so good if you were standing around though. All turned out good for a first project
Super cosy and super long: it finished up at 2 metres 30. (soo much longer than I am tall!)
I've definately got the crochet bug now and I should be putting up more projects on here/on my blog. I'm plotting a crocheted toad stool as we speak...