I have to confess I am obsessed with creating and making things. Knitting, crocheting and sewing are my biggest passions other than writing. But in the last 12 months, my focus has been on crocheting, although I still throw in a few knitted projects like scarves and cowls for friends.
One of the many wonderful gifts about retirement is I don’t have to fit in a few rows after work. I can pick up the wool and hook/needles when it fancies me and when I am not tired.
There are times when I am so involved in a craft project, that I hesitate when I am asked to a function before saying yes. As I get older, no matter how lovely a time I may be having when I am out, silently I am calculating how much time I have left for when I get home, to do a few rows before bed.
Thankfully it was through my social media connections I discovered I am not alone in my thinking and on the contrary, it is quite normal. Phew, I don’t feel so selfish now.
The online crochet community is huge with thousands of subscribers. It didn’t take me long to discover wonderful private social media crochet and crafting sites to register with suiting my needs. I have joined some of them on Facebook and Instagram, my main ones are Australia Crochet and Yarn Me Calm Me. I know there are more but these hold my attention on a daily basis.
I am also a regular subscriber to some of the general crafting and tutorial sites (Australian and international) that supply wool, patterns and ideas like Bendigo Woollen Mills, Hobbii, and Pinterest. YouTube is my online tutorial companion. I rarely use my old hard-copy reference books.
On the private group sites you can share your projects, ask questions, seek help when stuck with a concept, share information on what yarn and pattern you have used, indicate how long it has taken you to produce an item, issues with a pattern, wool suppliers and prices, gain confirmation that yarn purchases is a great addiction. The list is endless and consoling. You soon realise that we all have this common denominator and many silent questions are answered. Although the majority of members are women it is lovely to see other genders post items.
But what has struck me more than anything, is from these private groups, seemingly all about crafting, there is something even stronger. By default, there comes the establishment of a positive community of emotional support and connection.
Reading between the comment lines it is evident psychologically that crocheting has been and is many people’s lifesaver. I am so impressed with how open and honest some contributors are with their feelings. They trust their group bearing their soul.
Everyone will post a picture of their work, either just begun or completed and some may add a more personal comment such as: “I took up crocheting when I was going through an abusive relationship. It saved me” or “I am just learning, I needed something as I was feeling alone” “looking for inspiration”, “where have I gone wrong?”. Our encouraging crochet community comes to the rescue.
Naturally, with any private group site, there are behaviour rules and maybe some people have ignored them but from my perspective, all I have seen is positivity for members. They are complimentary to the contributor, the experienced crafters offer amazing suggestions and if someone is feeling down they receive warm support. Being part of the creative community restores your faith in human nature
Another wonderful discovery is crocheting is not an ageism thing. I see many young people embracing their crafts and their creations are inspiring. Even one girl on TikTok makes me laugh out loud every time she posts. Her quirky comments or Reels are all about sending herself up on her love and addiction to crochet. She brazenly shows how she is not feeling guilty when maybe she should, given the circumstances. For example, crocheting when at work or telling friends she is too busy to go out when she is really home crocheting. She is so funny, yet real.
For those who don’t have a craft whether it is crochet, knitting or something else involving yarn, it all begins with one stitch, patience and will. And there is always someone out there to help.
I have a number of projects on the go and my crochet community has confirmed that all is okay, I am not alone. Happy crafting.