“What are you knitting?” is the standard question when someone sees me crocheting. Of course the one time I tried my hand at knitting no one asked me that. The question then was about what I was crocheting. I think most people in my geeration never really learned that one needle (hook) is crochet, 2 needles is knitting. I can’t even blame them.
Growing up my age group was one of the last classes to have the luxury of two to three hours of “technika” lessons a week. In this class we lerned useful work skills from changing lighbulbs to woodwork to making simple electric circuits. One year we had to hand sew a small parachute. My grandma made most of that for me, because trouble for me began when I had to cut out the fabric. I was THAT clumsy. The same year we learned a very basic crochet stitch and we had to make a pot holder. My mom finished that for me. Those two were the only work I ever remember being sent home to finish, and based on it not being graded, our teacher was quite aware that these were really homework for moms. Kids younger only by a few years didn’t have either activity as part of their curriculum, just like book binding, making wooden spice racks, working traffic light models, and aluminum ash trays were also dropped.
As shown above, it wasn’t in 5th grade that I learned to crochet. My mother tried oh so hard to teach me then, and then in high school, and during my university years, but it just didn’t happen. I had some very impressively messed up pieces as my attempts at crocheting, but I just couldn’t get it. I watched my mom, I tried to follow her instructions, and it just didn’t work. Then came YouTube and Google. A few videos and lots of written descriptions later I produced my first recognizable item: a blue pot holder that is still in use nearly ten years later. It was still uneven, a bit sloppy, but it served its purpose. It was useful. Being able to create something useful kept me crocheting, and with practice I got better. Motivation to finally do something useful was very important for me. In my real job I often felt that my work was useless.
Now the usefulness of some of the things I crochet is questionable. My preferred work include dolls, mug cozies, and other non-useful things. Making them, however, keeps me busy, entertained and it is better than therapy. Most of the time, at least. I wouldn’t say it’s cheaper than therapy, with all the money I’ve spent on yarn, but definitely it has a nice balancing effect. So for now a ball of yarn and a crochet hook are my constant companions, because I am hooked on crochet.