This week’s topic is about our favorite hobby. Wow! The variety of articles to come out of this will be astounding. The obvious for many will be writing. That is what us hubbers do. I have to admit that that is one of my hobbies now. I so enjoy it, but that is not the hobby that I wanted to write about. I wanted to focus on the favorite pastime that helps me relax and gives me a sense of accomplishment. Crocheting.
I love to crochet. It is relaxing to feel my fingers moving about and the end result is something to use and admire. It helps while away the time and gives me something to focus on.
I learned to crochet when I was 20 years old. My father was having emergency heart surgery. I was in college and had brought all my studies with me to keep caught up during the time I was away to be there for him and my mother. One of my sisters and my brother come into to town also. We were all sitting in the waiting room. I tried so hard to focus on my statistics. I switched to cost accounting. That was not exactly the mind grabbing topic I needed. I could not focus during those hours while Dad was in surgery. My sister was crocheting bookmarks that she gave away as gifts. I began to watch her and asking questions. She suggested that we run to the store which was just a mile away and get me some supplies and patterns for me to work on. A few minutes later I was sitting in the surprisingly comfortable hospital chair working on my doily. It wasn’t so hard. Before I knew it, the doctor was coming out to tell us how successful it all went and I had finished about a fourth of my work. During the next couple of days while we were keeping Dad company, I finished it. I was so proud of it. I gave it to my mother who still has it on her coffee table.
I loved the relaxing feel I got when I crocheted. When I was angry, I pulled out the hooks and thread and began to create. When I was bored, I gazed at the picture with the pattern and began to re-create the beauty. I loved it. My friends in college began to pick out their birthday presents from my collection of patterns. I began to make wedding gifts and baby gifts. What fun to watch the appreciation for a handmade item!
The warmest I ever felt when making a piece was a caplet I made my mother. I didn’t know what to get her for Christmas. She had everything she needed. As I was thumbing through some old patterns I had not made yet, I found this piece that I thought she could use. Whenever we were in church with her, I noted how she always pulled her coat over her. She always seemed cold during the services as she got older. So I made her the caplet and added some buttons as decoration. She teared up when she opened the gift and saw what I had made for her. She put it on immediately and kept it on all Christmas day. When we went to the family gathering, she had to tell everyone how I had made it for her. I had also made one in a different color for the family secret Santa gift exchange. Her sister had commented on how she wanted one. I had warned my mother on which gift not to choose so that she would not receive the exact same present that she had earlier in the day. She whispered to her sister which one to get. When my aunt opened it, she went on and on about it. Then her and my mother playfully fought over them. It was so much fun and I felt so good to have created something to give them joy.
Crocheting is not hard to learn. Once you learn how to hold the thread or yarn and the needle, it is then just a matter of learning the basic chain stitch and the single crochet stitch. Everything builds off of that. I learned on the small threads used to make doilies. Other people begin with the yarn to make afghans. The feel is different from one project to the next but don’t let any of this stop you from learning. You can carry your projects with you and work on them at the doctor offices, waiting in the car for the husband who takes forever in the store, or watching a movie. One New Year’s Eve as we were watching movies, I cranked out two hats. You will be amazed at what you can make. Afghans and doilies are just the beginning. You can make clothing, hair pieces, accessories, home décor, dishcloths, and holiday decorations. Create family heirlooms with tablecloths, bedspreads, and centerpieces. The projects are endless. I thought about learning to knit, but there are still too many crocheting projects that I’ve yet to master.
Check out these great sites including other hubs that will help teach you to crochet, give you hints and definitions, and wonderful projects.
Crochet Pattern Central is my all time favorite place for free crochet patterns. It is a collection of patterns throughout the virtual world and is regularly updated.
Craftown is another good source of free patterns. You can also find free lessons for crocheting and other craft projects.
Crochet 'n' More has over 300 free patterns. Check them out.
Learn to Knit ironically has instructions on how to crochet.
Lion Brand Yarn has free patterns and teaches you to crochet.
There are tons more sites out there with wonderful patterns and instructions. Some are free and some are available at reasonable prices. Just type in your search engine "crochet patterns", "free crochet patterns", or "crochet instructions".