Learning to Crochet

Yeah. It’s exciting, I’m sure. I sort of learned how to crochet a few years ago. I made a scarf and an afghan, both of which are crooked but warm! I’ve thought about actually learning how to do this properly, so that I could make better quality items, but I’ve waited and waited.

A few days ago, my mom suggested buying a book made for kids, because they are usually full of pictures and clear descriptions. Yesterday, I bought a set of crochet hooks and this book:

So, I get points for a fast, proactive response. That’s good. (Maybe 2 points so far.)

Yesterday, I also worked through the first 35 pages and 2.5 projects. Here’s a glance at the better two so far:

Beaded Bookmark

Water Bottle Sling

I get 3 points for motivation and follow through with these projects. And! I needed to adapt the water bottle project twice in order to make it practical for larger bottles (taller net and much thicker strap), so that’s another 2 points, since it has worked out well. (Total: 7 points)

Today, I finished the water bottle sling, but I have been struggling with the next project (a beanie hat), because my normal style of crocheting is very tight. Essentially, this hat starts with a spiral line, and the smaller and closer together my lines are, the harder it is to get the correct shape and size. So I looked up a website to help me learn to make looser stitches. And I’m practicing the skill instead of getting frustrated or being elitist (read “stubborn”)! Here’s today’s work compared to yesterday’s:

That’s gotta be another 2 points, because I’ve been fighting with this for a few hours so far, but I AM making progress. (Total: 9 points)

So why does any of this matter? Because earlier in my life, I would have just talked wistfully about wanting to improve but taken no initiative (0 points), or bought the book with the intent to start “later” (2 points), or started into the book but stopped the first time that things got a bit difficult (3 points), or pushed past the initial difficulties but stopped after attempting the beanie hat 3 or 4 times (7 points). But right now? Right now, I am taking it slow, giving myself time to learn the abbreviations and techniques, accepting mistakes in stride and redoing sections for practice. I am learning. I really am. 

Is crocheting important? No. Could I live a fulfilled life without it? Absolutely. So does it matter that I am taking my time and applying myself to learn a new skill, even though it isn’t going perfectly yet? YES. This sets a precedent for learning future skills and achieving bigger goals. With each stitch and completed project, I prove to myself that I have more potential than I thought. I see myself learning and improving, and I believe in myself more.

This matters more than I can convey. I could change my life, just by tangling string in an intentional way. And that, that makes it worthwhile.


Performance vs. Process

Well, this is what I was trying to avoid- dead air. Sorry, everyone.

I think that it would be worthwhile to post a video that covers the performance/process dichotomy that I’m wrestling with in pottery class. It is about schools and childhood, which makes sense because they make up the bulk of formative experiences for many people. We learn who we are, how we fit in, and how to interact with others through our time in school.

It’s called “RSA ANIMATE: How To Help Every Child Fulfil Their Potential” and RSA posted it. (Sorry that I can’t embed a player from my phone.)


Universal Confidence

As I have thought about what to post here and whom to share it with, I have repeatedly followed the train of thought that “if I just had everything under control like everyone else, then I could…” I have to chuckle a little because this type of thought has plagued me throughout my life, and I honestly used to believe that everyone but me was perfect. That type of approach brings pain like nothing else.

Actually, I still act off of this impulse, even though I don’t believe that everyone else is confident and that everyone else is perfect and that everyone else can handle anything that comes. It’s just so tempting to keep my crazy, broken, messy parts hidden away from the world. In doing so, I reinforce the same lie that’s been hurting me all along by making those around me feel like I have everything together, when I really don’t.

I’m feeding the flames that have burned me.

Maybe we all are.