When the pandemic started, like many people, I decided it was time for me to pick up a new hobby. It was my last year of high school, and my online assignments didn’t quite feel real at this point. So I thought I might as well try to learn something new now that I didn’t have to spend about an hour every day trekking to and from school. That’s when I learned about crocheting.
My grandma taught me how to knit when I was younger, so I was already familiar with the fibre arts. I really liked knitting, but found it hard to wrap my head around. In my last knitting project —before I started crocheting — I missed several stitches and got very frustrated, resulting in a neglected, unfinished project. When I started seeing TikToks of people crocheting, it intrigued me and made me want to get back into the fibre arts. Luckily I had a bit of yarn already lying around, and since — at this point — I really did not feel like knitting, I thought I’d give crocheting a try.
Since all of the yarn I had was medium-sized, I got the 4.5mm hook. For learning purposes, I think any needle from 4.5mm to larger works best. The sizing of crochet needles and yarn can get a little confusing, but lots of yarn packaging have the recommended size of needle on them, which really helped me. Another essential item I needed was a tapestry needle used to weave loose ends at the end of the project. Projects that I started with were tote bags since they are fairly easy to make. All I needed to make was two square pieces for each side of the bag and two long rectangles for the straps. It was easy to practice the different types of stitches since the process was very repetitive.
Of course, I wasn’t a natural the first time I picked up a crochet needle. Similar to knitting, I missed several stitches, mixed up the different types of stitches, and it took me a couple of days to figure out the “magic circle,” which is a technique used to crochet in the round often utilized to make hats. However, I actually found myself picking it up faster than knitting. Maybe because already knowing the basics of knitting benefited me, or I finally had some extra time off of school. The multitude of YouTube tutorials also really helped.
One of the appealing aspects of crocheting for me was the ability to make my own clothes and bags. Of course, making my own tote bags and hats is more time-consuming, but I love having the opportunity to choose exactly which colours and designs I want them to be. I recently made a hybrid sunhat/bucket hat. The plan initially was to make a bucket hat, but that didn’t happen. Even though I made mistakes along the way, I got a nice pastel purple hat out of the experience with cool flower granny squares that I am pretty proud of.
An added benefit of crocheting is that I can now make presents for my friends and family. I am horrible at getting presents and can never think of any ideas when birthdays come around. Now I can make toques, scarves, and sweaters, and I want to start making tops in the future. Personally, I really enjoy getting presents that are homemade, like the slippers and bags my grandma makes for me, not only because they look really impressive but also because I appreciate the time and effort she puts into making them. My crocheting skills are nowhere as good as my grandma’s, but I am happy that I can now create these handmade gifts for the people I love.
Now that we’re getting further into the semester and I’m back to my busy school schedule, I find crocheting very relaxing. At the end of the week, after stressing about school and assignments, it’s nice to be able to sit down and work on something that helps calm me down. I can even listen to music or watch random shows while I crochet, and after a few hours, my mind is at ease, and I’m left with a cool vest.