I actually have a normal hobby, believe it or not. I enjoy crocheting. The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating something with my hands. I still consider myself a beginner even though I have several intermediate projects either done or as works in progress.Whether its the texture or color of the skein I have in my hand as I stand in the yarn section of the local Walmart or the colorful pattern I found online, it sends thrills through my body. And it’s something tangible I can show people. I can’t do that with my writing because my writing hobby is just for me; a story I have created to escape the stress of living in the real world.
It doesn’t matter if it’s the repeated stitches of a super-easy scarf or the intricate pattern of a complex afghan. My mind can settle and relax as I focus on the hook and yarn running through my fingers. It becomes meditative when the stitches are easy and mentally stimulating when the pattern is complex.
This reflects what my mind prefers in the greater scheme of my life. I am just as happy doing menial tasks such as chopping tomatoes for homemade salsa as I am doing more complex tasks as trying to figure out why my laptop suddenly started to continually reboot after a Windows update.
My favorite part of this hobby is collecting yarn. I have several large plastic containers full in my back room waiting for the right pattern as well as various bags filled with my current projects. It’s one thing to fall in love with the colors on a skein and another to see the finished result on a project. If you are a crocheter (or any sort of crafting fanatic), you’ll understand this ongoing dilemma. There is never enough time in one’s life to get them all done.
With all the extra time on my hands being part time in my job, I have the time and energy to crochet. It’s amazing how an entire day crocheting can go by in a flash. As opposed to when I am at work I constantly look at the clock, wishing for the day to crawl to a close so I can go home and collapse on the couch, mentally exhausted from sheer boredom.
I did a mystery afghan that I just loved to do (once I found colors that I really liked). My first try was several jewel-type colors of Lion Brand Heartland. The colors are named for different natural locations in the US and the colors are rich and deep with a thread or two of a darker shade running through. I love nature-based colors and assumed it was going to look wonderful. It seemed to be a fantastic color combination. My mom likes it. I, however, do not. So I did a second mystery afghan so I could enter it into the contest. This time I chose bright colors in the less expensive Red Heart Super Saver. Now this afghan I just love! What took me forever to trudge through with colors I didn’t like, was completed in no time with bright, vibrant colors. Of course knowing the pattern the second time around helped immensely.
I have completed several Seraphina shawls because I just love the pattern. After giving them all away because I was never truly satisfied with either the color or the size, I finally have two on my hooks that are just for me. One is a cuddly, autumn-colored Lion Brand Homespun and the other is a Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable in a lovely deep rainbow color called Stained Glass. I plan for both to be almost gigantic so they end up being more of an afghan than a shawl. I know that sounds crazy, but I love cuddling under an afghan when the cold sets in and the Seraphina pattern drapes well over my shoulders so I can sit at my computer on cold winter nights and not feel as chilled. The Homespun is about half done and is going quickly. The Unforgettable is going to take a little more time because not only are the stitches smaller, there aren’t enough skeins in my stash and I’m having trouble finding more for a good price. I’ll talk more about the pattern in another post. It’s a lovely shawl and requires its own post.
I am a member of Ravelry which is an online community of knitters and crocheters. There are patterns of all types available for free and some are for sale. The forums are open for people to socialize and ask questions as well as get advice. And the best is that you can show off all your projects! You can see what others are doing and get ideas if the colors work for you or just spend hours browsing all the lovely projects.
The train for the crochet-along I’m working on presently left the train station long ago. I found it late in the game and it is a difficult pattern that takes concentration. Even my mom, who has many more years of experience on me, only finished enough of it to make a pillow. As a matter of fact, I did about seven rounds before I realized I had one more set of v-stitches that I should. That was promptly tossed onto the floor for the bun sisters. I started over and did much better.
I’ve also done a nice lime green cotton beach bag this summer which was another crochet along. It was actually one of six bags to be completed for another contest. There were three crochet and three knitted bags so I had no plans to enter my one bag. I did it because I liked the stitches and bright green. I also did it because I desperately need bags for my projects.
Which leads to my biggest problem. I have so many projects in plastic shopping bags. You would think that since I crochet, I would have more than enough nice bags. Not the case. Why? Because I can never make up my mind which pattern I actually want for my bags. There are too many patterns to choose from.
There is also a pattern that I can make that requires, of all things, those infamous plastic shopping bags. Yup, that’s right. All I need to do it cut the bags into strips, tie them together and get crocheting. It’s not hard. I’ve done one already several years ago and it was a fun project. Plus I felt good that I was not throwing those bags into the landfill.
Hmmm…. All this crochet talk makes me want to crochet. Hee… Hee… And those two shawls are right next to me.