Monday, December 2, 2013

Surprise!

I learned how to crochet. Surprise! I know there are those of you out in California who don’t believe me, so for proof, look at the infinity scarf I actually finished:

For real! I made it!
I learned to knit at a young age, and although my amazing mom tried to teach me to crochet, I could never quite get the hang of it. I haven’t knitted in quite some time either, until this Thanksgiving, when my sister-in-law found a pattern online and asked Aaron’s Nana to teach her how to crochet. She made the scarf in a few hours after learning that day, so I decided I wanted to give it a shot as well. Nan showed me how to start the scarf, chain, and continue on to the second and third rows.

Once we were home, I decided to see how much I’d truly learned, and after successfully beginning the fourth row, I realized I had officially learned how to crochet.

I crocheted for about four hours straight that night, and listened to Cracked.com podcasts with Aaron. (This one on the millennial generation is excellent; it’s worth a listen.) I used up a whole skein of yarn and added in the second. Two hours later the next day, the basic scarf was complete. This morning I sewed the ends together to create the infinity effect, weaved in the loose ends, and enlisted the assistance of my favorite Eagle Scout to tie sturdy knots.

I am hooked! I don’t ever remember finished knitting projects except for small American Girl doll scarves, and somewhere in the depths of my mom’s closet lurks a half-finished scarf. With crochet, however, about six hours after learning, I possessed a completed infinity scarf, and a new hobby. Aaron and I actually just ordered more yarn so I can make a scarf for him (not an infinity scarf; the pattern I used seemed too feminine to fit him).

The scarf is so cozy, thanks to the yarn I used. I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick Yarn, which is big and chunky and adds to the speed of the project. These big scarves have been popping up all over my Pinterest feed, and they are perfect for a New England winter. They’d be more of a fashion accent in Southern California…if it ever got cold enough to wear them (I'm not bitter or anything). You can really use any kind of yarn you want, and crochet a lighter scarf for fall or spring.

This is a worthy beginner project for the millennial hobbyist because it can be accomplished so fast. And while the Internet is replete with how-to tutorials, I recommend finding a friend or grandma who can teach you in person. Crochet is the kind of activity best appreciated with a dose of love, and they can provide feedback before you waste hours getting frustrated. And while this project went by fast, the six hours allowed me to slow down the pace of my life. After spending time on the Internet, I find myself expecting to be flash entertained, and often jump around from one activity to another until my brain can settle down, and crochet gave me the opportunity to focus for a sustained period of time. I did find myself adapting to the slowness by listening to the podcasts, but my attention remained on the stitches. I even made grand plans to create more scarves and listen to every TED talk I ever wanted to (so I haven’t completely abandoned the notion of technology, don’t worry).

I had my mind closed off to crochet because of earlier failures as a girl, and I was so excited to overcome that mental block and actually begin and finish the scarf. I’m very excited about this new hobby!

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