It’s 8-something in the morning and everyone in my house is asleep. It’s just a boring day during quarantine, but for some reason, I woke up earlier than usual. The house is so quiet that I can hear the birds chirping. I’m sitting at my desk right by the window and smell flowers because of my air purifier. Then, I grab the blanket that I am halfway through with. It looks so beautiful so far, with its white and teal yarn. Crocheting is peaceful and calming — just the yarn and me. I feel like making that blanket is the only thing I needed to do. My head is blank, and all I can think about is how the crochet hook was going through the holes so seamlessly. The more I crocheted, the more my stress went away.
It all started when everyone started online school. Our schedules changed, and all the teachers changed their styles of teaching. Most of the teachers were confused about how they were going to change projects and get everything to work online. I was so stressed out because everything was changing so fast and no one could explain exactly what was going on. My teacher for ELA (English Learning Arts) was having an easier time because we used computers for most of our projects, essays and tests. I liked her class the most during online school because there wasn’t that much change happening.
She knew that some of us were having a hard time, so she gave us an assignment where every week we had to write a journal entry about how the week went. From those journals, she noticed that we were stressed out because we were only thinking about school. That led her to assign a project which was for us to find something useful and interesting while still learning important skills. It was based on the concept of “Genius Hour” used by successful companies like Google that allows employees to research skills and topics of their choice to create something of real benefit. This is actually how Gmail was invented.
I started my project by trying to improve my drawing skills. I tried watching YouTube videos and reading articles with directions, but nothing worked for me. My drawings came out horribly. I also wasn’t interested in drawing. I just couldn’t see myself drawing for fun. Since drawing didn’t work, I tried doing baking as my project. The first time that I made a cake and I stepped away to do homework, the cake burned. I spent a lot of time laughing that I had forgotten about the cake, but at the same time, I noticed that baking wasn’t for me. I also had to take pictures for the project, and I knew that I most definitely wasn’t going to take pictures of that cake. I had already tried two different hobbies, so I decided to take a break from trying stuff out and instead I was going to do a little bit more research. I didn’t have to rush to pick something since I had a month to figure out my choice for sure.
One day I was at my neighbor’s house, and she told me that the online art club she was in was teaching her how to crochet. At first, I saw the yarn thought that she just meant that she was knitting. I was so confused when she started using a hook instead of the two sticks that are used for knitting. She started crocheting, and all I could think about was how amazing it was that the yarn was turning into something so beautiful. We watched a movie, and she was still crocheting, which was awesome because she wasn’t even looking at her hands. The blanket that she was working on looked stunning. She picked an ombre-colored yarn that looked so nice. I asked her if she could teach me how to crochet, and she said she would be glad to. She showed me everything I need to know to start crocheting. She also suggested some YouTube videos that I could watch to learn how to create different types of crocheting patterns.
The first time that I crocheted was the most difficult. The pattern I used was granny squares, which are made by working in rounds from the center outward. It is often one of the first patterns a person learns to make when first learning how to crochet. I was creating a blanket. At the time I had a beginner crochet hook that was big, so the circles were huge. The blanket came out large, but it looked kind of stretched out and messy since I didn’t make the double crochets tight enough. I didn’t like the technique and how the blanket looked, so I started to look for different patterns. The pattern that I found that I liked was grit stitch. Grit stitch isn’t as difficult, and although it is more time-consuming, it creates a tighter blanket. My second blanket came out much tighter and I loved the pattern, so I’ve stuck with grit stitch. So far I have created three blankets, two scarves, and I am learning how to make animals — a bumblebee. Most of what I have created so far I have given away to relatives or friends. I did keep the first blanket I made because it showed how I improved on my crocheting skills throughout the blanket.
I love crocheting because it is effortless, and I can create something beautiful that I can wear forever. When I make things, it also reminds me of a peaceful time when I was crocheting. Learning how to crochet helped me because before I was always stressed out about school and everything happening around me. Crocheting helps me create a quiet environment when the world is loud from school and stressful things. I learned that when I come out of my comfort zone I can find things that I like and enjoy doing. We all need to find the things that we enjoy doing, especially during these hard times. Finding new things to do like hobbies will help us stay calm and take care of ourselves.