Four months ago, I was sitting on the couch at my dad and stepmom’s house (or my Up-North parents as they prefer to be called), and I took a break from playing games and reading on my phone. I looked at my stepmother, Pat, and said, “I think I want to pick up crocheting again.”
This statement itself was kind of funny. Did I ever really “pick up” crocheting as a child? Yes, Pat taught me, and I remember spending a summer working on stitches. And I made some sea-green pot holders which I highly doubt anyone ever used. Though, not to brag, I’m pretty sure I won an A ribbon for them at the county fair. What I remember clearly was I thought crocheting was really hard, and the pot holders were the biggest thing that I made. They were probably the first and last thing I made.
So it might seem odd or even random that I would suddenly want to start crocheting again. The truth was I had been doing some major reflecting in December. I realized that I had a wonderful home life with an awesome, supportive boyfriend, a dog that wiggled like a maniac when he saw me, and a cat who ranked me as a definite second favorite after food. My boyfriend always had interesting thoughts to share or witty remarks to make me laugh; and I was admittedly not present for him; and I knew it and I couldn’t stop myself! I could not unwind after working three jobs-that’s right- three jobs. I taught middle school, sold real estate, and coached volleyball. You might think I needed the money (*cough* student loans *cough*), but really I liked those jobs, and here’s the big thing: I didn’t know how to not-work. I was a full-blown workaholic.
To my close friends and family, this was not a surprise. How many times did I cancel plans or tell them no because of…work? Almost always… work. My friends with kids probably thought I was insane. How could someone without kids never have free time? Well, now you know. My name is Sarah, and I am a recovering workaholic.
Crocheting seemed like a good hobby that I could have and still be present. It wouldn’t cure the workaholism, but it was a start. Pat was really excited for the idea because she loves crocheting! Not only has she taught many people to crochet, but also she’s crocheted innumerable afghans for others. So, she brought me down to her storage where she showed (and gave) me some awesome wooden and antique hooks.
She then took me through to bin after bin of yarn to find a skein that would make practice easier. She handed me magazines and books that I would soon pore over. She chose a light colored skein, so I could see the stitches better. This is important if you are a beginner which I basically was.
She taught me (again) how to complete a single crochet stitch. She gave me easy and essential advice (bottom of page). Most helpfully, she coached me which was extra impressive because she is left-handed and I am right-handed; so, she had to do everything backwards for her. I worked back and forth along a short chain until my stitch became consistent. She then ripped it out and made me start over. Oddly, this made me feel good to start over and produce something better. I could see myself progressing quickly. Plus, this went along with the growth mindset we taught our students in school. After maybe twenty rows of consistent stitches, she taught me the double crochet stitch. Then, we did the same thing- working until I got consistent. The next day, she taught me how to work in a round, we bought supplies at Hobby Lobby, and I was off to explore the world of crochet.
Since then, I’ve kept up with the crochet. Reading blogs and books and magazines like a fiend.
Buying yarn like an addict. Pinning everything on Pinterest. Even upgrading my hooks already. Making everything from small hearts and booties to blankets. I’ve learned so much, and I feel like there is so much more room to grow.
So this blog is about my absolute love for crochet, yarn, and crafts. It’s about my journey from a novice to an expert (fingers crossed), the products I use and make, the people I’ve bonded or reconnected with along the way, and my plan to start a part-time business with potential to grow (more on that later).
Advice from Pat to Me (a Beginner)
These are some tips that have stuck with me. Thanks Pat! Hope you don’t mind :).
- Start with a light colored yarn: It’s easier to see your stitches.
- Use your fingers to turn the hook: You have to turn your wrist a little as you crochet, but you can twirl the hook using your fingers to grab the yarn to pull it through. This puts less stress on your wrist. Trust me. I have learned to follow this the hard way.
- Don’t start with too big of a project: She told me that most people quit crocheting because they want to do a large blanket or something else big for their first project. Many people have given me anecdotal evidence that backs this up. Start with something smaller, so you fell like you’ve accomplished something.
- Don’t be afraid to start over: On my first blanket, I was horrible at counting stitches, and you could tell. Since then, I use stitch counters, and if it doesn’t look right, then I rip it out and start over.