What Crochet Means to Me by Lauren Habgood

27 Nov 2019

What Crochet Means to Me by Lauren Habgood
About a year ago, I was in the midst of one of the most intense periods of my life. I was planning a wedding, which in itself is a herculean task. I was also starting a new job and preparing to move flat. Talk about everything coming at once! To say I was stressed was a mild understatement. I was craving a breather, an escape from the constant noise that seemed to be engulfing my life. In an attempt to save money, I knew I wanted to hand-make as much as possible for the wedding. I am blessed with many talented friends who helped with things such as the invitations and the cake, but I knew I wanted to make something myself. The Christmas previously, my Mum had gifted me a Star Wars Crochet set by Lucy Collins. It just so happened that the date we decided on was May 4th, Star Wars day. The stars had appeared to align, this was my destiny. I was going to crochet a Star Wars amigurumi for every single guest! That quickly turned into a key-ring of just the character heads, but nonetheless, every single guest went home with a handmade crocheted key-ring by yours truly. People were delighted at the novelty as well as the love that had gone into them.
 
My Mum and Nan had both tried to teach me in the past, but something just wouldn't click. (We later found out that they were trying to teach me an odd mixture between crochet and knitting. We blame Great-Nanny Wyatt.)  Luckily, there is an abundance of fantastic online resources for people to learn from. One I was particularly drawn to was Happy Berry. Out of the seemingly hundreds of videos I watched, I found Laura's easy to grasp, and clear to understand. Within a couple of weeks I felt confident enough to give my first wedding favor a go. My Storm-Trooper was a little lopsided to say the least. But he was obviously a Storm-Trooper! I was thrilled at my small victory, and continued to work away with vigor. With every favor my skills improved, and not only that, I found my stress was reducing. I began to look forward to my crochet time, trying to squeeze in a few stitches at every opportune moment. After perhaps the 10th wedding favor, it was official, I was hooked. 
 
I often quote crochet as being part of my self-care, and the wonderful thing is, I can reap the benefits of it in the moment, as well as in the future. When I'm in the zone, crocheting away, I'm in an almost meditative like state, my husband has been know to call my name several times before the spell of 'just another double crochet' is broken. I'm happy to be in my little zone. It's quiet, it's familiar, I can loose myself in it's repetition. The cares and worries of the day seem to melt away with every stitch. It also forces me to calm down. If you crochet regularly, you'll know how important an even tension is. If I crochet whilst still being angry, my stitch-tension goes all haywire, so I have to take a breather, step back, and then carry on. The benefits for future me are perhaps even greater. I'm able to create something beautiful, that I can sell at craft fairs, or on etsy. I can give my creations as gifts, and spread the joy further. However, perhaps the most important thing, is that it helps me keep moving forward. I remember often during the wedding planning period, there were times when it became too much, when bridesmaid dresses and cake flavors and gift lists all seemed to merge into a giant, overbearing task. The wonderful thing was though, I found I could take half and hour or so to work on the favors, which allowed me to take stock and recharge, and suddenly that task became a lot less daunting. This is still very prevalent in my everyday life. I've noticed a difference in my attitude and my emotions on days when I haven't crocheted, as I try to practice every day. If I haven't made time for it, I find myself more irritable, less patient, and not my best self. 
 
Crochet is also remarkable because it's so portable, you can literally crochet anywhere. At lunch, on the bus, waiting for friends, wherever the feeling takes you. Plus, it's a fairly cheap craft too. I'm always a bit hesitant before throwing my heart into a craft as I like to think ahead to the cost of materials, the space needed etc. As I've already mentioned, it's very portable so space wise it doesn't take up much room (Not including your wool stash, but we'll forget about that for now), plus, there's yarn to suit every budget. I prefer cotton yarn, as I feel it provides a tighter, neater stitch. It's also a bit more environmentally friendly than the more commonly used acrylic yarn.  Also, with the Christmas season rapidly approaching, you could save yourself some money and crochet a gift for someone, or you could try selling your creations at local fairs or online. If that isn't enough, crochet is a great way to meet people. A natural conversation starter, people are always interested to see what you're making, or selling. I've had lovely conversations with people at craft fairs, who tell me of a similar experience they had with crochet being a source of relaxation for them. It's not just a granny's craft anymore, I've seen people of every kind finding joy in this humble craft. So why not pick up some yarn and have a go yourself? I promise, you'll be hooked.
 
Lauren has been crocheting for just over a year. She loves creating little amigurumis with big personalities. You can follow her on Instagram @misslaurensdrawins or find her on Etsy

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