Lifestyle

1/21/2021 | By Terri L. Jones

When the coronavirus pandemic started and we were all in lockdown mode, I was at loose ends (pun intended!). All the hours that I usually frittered away getting ready for work, driving to the office, shopping, eating out, meeting friends for coffee, and just being out in the world, I now had to fill. I spent a lot of time walking and listening to podcasts in those first few months. I even dusted off my sewing machine and made masks for family and friends. However, I needed an activity that I could dive into with both feet and essentially lose myself. That’s when I took up crocheting.

Dusting Off an Old Hobby

I should say I took up crocheting again because I had learned the craft in the Girl Scouts many moons earlier; I had made a few ponchos and afghans as a pre-teen. I had probably pulled out my hook a few times in the years since, but I had never moved past the dabbling stage.

But this time, I really threw myself into it. Starting with easy single-crochet dishcloths, I crocheted several for my mother. I then started a veritable assembly line, crocheting, blocking and even packaging them with twine and a tag adorned with a “PoshWash” logo for family and good friends. I even sold several dozen along the way!

Giving It My All

From there I progressed to baby blankets – the first was a gift for my great nephew and then I sold two more to a neighbor. Then came ponchos and cat and dog food mats (shaped like a fish and dog bone respectively) and on and on! When my husband and I sat down to watch our 1 ½ hours of TV every night after dinner, I always had my yarn and hook ready. Over the next several months, I crocheted my way through many episodes of our favorite shows. By the fall, our binge-watching of everything from old episodes of “West Wing” to new series like “The Undoing” and “The Crown” resulted in an impressive number and variety of crocheted treasures.

One of my favorite projects was when I reprised my Granny square skills from the early days to create a trio of brightly colored ponchos for a coworker’s cute kids.

Crocheting a little hat

Pushing My Limits

Not only was crocheting extremely relaxing and almost meditative (and who doesn’t need a little meditation these days?!), but it was also challenging for me! With each new project, I committed to learning a new stitch and moving my skills to the next level. Although I had a whole slew of stitches and techniques in my toolbox by the time my niece texted me something she wanted for her new baby, I was hesitant. This project, an intricately crocheted lamb toy, looked way above my skill level. But what did I have to lose? Just some time and a few bucks for the pattern and a couple skeins of yarn!

Crocheting a little lamb

Like all my other projects, I didn’t let the dust settle before I attacked the lamb with great fervor. But the pattern was much more complex than others I had used, and I immediately was stuck. Luckily, the designer was ready and willing to answer my questions and talk me through any issues. After about a week, and many frustrating hours of agonizingly detailed work, I had an adorable, furry keepsake to present to my niece and new great nephew. He won’t be allowed to play with this toy for quite a while if I have anything to say about it!

Officially Hooked

After about nine months at it, I now have a shelf in my office devoted to my skeins of yarn. I have hooks in all the most common sizes, I just ordered custom tags to sew into my work, and I leave bits of yarn wherever I go. Plus, every couple of weeks, it seems, a friend will text or Facebook message me an adorable or outrageous new crocheted piece to try (I usually smile, thank them, and move on).

I think I can now officially and proudly call myself a crocheter (although my husband still thinks it’s knitting. Go figure!)

Terri L. Jones

Terri L. Jones has been writing educational and informative topics for the senior industry for over ten years, and is a frequent and longtime contributor to Seniors Guide. She also writes for many other local magazines and publications.

Terri L. Jones