Another Flavor of Arts and Crafts
If there’s a craft project, I’ve probably taken a crack at it. My mother’s an artist, and so she’s interested in all different sorts of mediums and techniques and such, and she encouraged my sister and I to pursue our own artistic interests with enthusiasm. These days, she’s primarily a graphic artist, but her roots are in physical mediums, especially painting and drawing. But just for the fun of it, she and my sister and I have all had fun experimenting with other mediums like clay or, more relevant here, crochet.
I don’t remember how old I was was my mother went through her crochet phase. I do know that she made this really nice scarf for herself that I quickly commandeered because 1) I really liked it and 2) she doesn’t really wear scarves anyways so someone should properly appreciate its comfort. But eventually she moved on. My sister and I took a half-hearted crack at crocheting things ourselves, but we were young and didn’t get particularly interested, so I didn’t learn anything permanently. That was my first introduction to doing crochet.
Many years later, while recovering from an injury, I decided to take another crack at it. I was basically bedridden and couldn’t go out or do anything else fun or look at screens or read… It was a dark time. I needed something to do. So, I decided to learn a new skill: crochet. I made a couple scarves for my sister and an incidental baby blanket. They were all kind of janky haha. I was definitely a beginner. However, I mastered a lot of the basic crochet stitches quite thoroughly with these projects. Chains, single crochets, double crochets, front/back post double crochets, treble crochets… Those are the foundational stitches behind most all crochet work. Due to the nature of my injury, I don’t really remember learning these stitches or making those scarves for my sister, but my hands certainly do.
Recently, I decided to return to crocheting with full enthusiasm. For birthdays and holidays and such, I prefer to give people handmade gifts rather than something purchased. What better than crocheted scarves and blankets? So, I took out my yarn collection and just got to work. After a few days, I’d made a striped cabled scarf, and I was relatively happy with its quality. Then I learned a new stitch–the waffle stitch–and made a waffled scarf. Next, I’d like to take a crack at a much bigger project: a cabled throw for my mother. Eventually, I’d like to make a sweater, too.
I’m a pretty slow crocheter. On YouTuber, the crochet community is very advanced (and consequently fast). An intermediate crocheter like me just can’t keep up. That’s why it took me four days to crochet one relatively short cabled scarf. I imagine the throw I want to make for my mother will take an entire month to make haha, but I think it’ll be worth it. Still, it burns when the YouTuber crocheters casually say they made a baby blanket in three hours…. I’ll just have to practice even more so I can become super fast, too!
I do warn anyone interested in crochet that it can be a rather expensive hobby, especially if you need higher quality yarns like me. (I’m extremely sensitive to texture, so working with a low quality yarn moving over my hands for hours and hours simply isn’t feasible.) But if you want to start small with amigurumi and 100 yen balls of yarn don’t bother you, you totally can, and I encourage you to try it. It’s an extremely beginner friendly craft. If you make a mistake, you can just pull your stitches out easy peasy and try again. If you want to make a blanket, though, it’s gonna cost you. It takes literal kilometers of yarn to make a blanket as I have found out the hard way haha. Good luck!