Sunday, January 4, 2015

Why do you crochet?

About a year ago, I was sifting through our winter clothes bin and happened upon the first scarf that I made for my husband. Though the scarf was originally white, now faded through use to grey, it reminded me of how much I loved him then and love him now. That scarf was the last item that I knitted – over 5 years ago. For some reason or another, the hobby just didn’t stick. Not being one to give up on yarn crafts, I asked hubby if he would like me to crochet him a new scarf. Of course, he said, “Yes!” and I set out to purchase my materials and to learn how to crochet.

Hubby wearing his new scarf
I learned how to crochet by watching YouTube videos. I like being able to stop, pause, and rewind as needed. One of the best sources of videos that I have found is the Crochet Crowd (link here). Mikey, the creator and owner of the site, is incredibly easy to learn from. I love his tips, tricks, advice, and giggles. It’s almost as if he’s sitting in my office with me.

Soon after finishing the scarf, I found out that my sister-in-law was expecting. I didn’t know the gender of the baby, but I must have been secretly hoping for a girl because the yarn that I picked for the baby blanket ended up reading more girl than boy. Even though it was comprised purely of double crochet stitches, the resulting baby blanket was my most ambitious project at the time. I ended up shelving my plans to send a basket of washcloths after realizing that I’m the world’s slowest crocheter.

Finished baby blanket
After returning from a weeklong visit with my in-laws, I decided to participate in Stitch-cation (link here), hosted by the Crochet Crowd, and create an afghan for my mom for Christmas. Even though stitch-cation was supposed to last for two months, I knew that it would easily take me six months to finish this project. The afghan was comprised of 20 squares with 10 different patterns and 9 different colors. There were times when I wanted to give up because particular squares were quite difficult, but I persevered.

My Mom with her "Sandy Sunset" afghan
So, to get back to the original question:
  • I crochet to show the people in my life how much I love them.
  • I crochet to stretch my creative mind.
  • I crochet to show myself that I can accomplish things that seem impossible.
  • I crochet to feel connected to my work.
  • I crochet to calm my mind.
  • I crochet to keep my hands busy while thinking.
For me, crocheting isn’t just about the items being made. This is a hobby that I can turn to when I need some quiet time in my day, when I need to clear my head, or when I need to do some serious dissertation thinking. As I told my husband when he asked about my hobby, “I study crime. Not the bad behavior of individuals, but differences in state crime rates. There is nothing tangible about my work – the thing I’m studying only exists as numbers in an excel spreadsheet and the words I produce only exist on my computer. With crocheting, I can hold the hook and yarn and actually make something.”

1 comment:

  1. You should know that when you give someone a homemade item, we think of you every time we see/use it. I absolutely adore you and the blanket you made me keeps me warm while I'm reading on these cold, winter weekends. Hubby's first wife always knits me a scarf for Christmas and I simply love them!