I love to crochet. I learned to crochet at the feet of my grandmother who was an expert. She was a seamstress by profession, forced to go out and work when she had her 'change of life' baby, an unexpected child 18 years after she thought her family was complete. That child was my mother, who always claimed she didn't received one ounce of her mother's talent and creativity. She said it all went to me and I do have a knack for certain domestic arts. What I didn't get from my grandmother, perhaps due to lack of time to learn from her, was her talent for knitting, though I inherited all her needles. She taught me to crochet. As my mother was born when Grandma was 42 years young, I had my grandmother for only ten years before she died.
In my younger days I lacked the patience needed to enjoy and really capitalize on the talents God has bestowed upon me. I am only now learning to appreciate the process instead of longing for the instant gratification of the result. I have found peace lately, peace through tremendous stress, through crocheting and working with my hands on the traditionally female domestic arts.
Because finances are so tight these days I'm always seeking free patterns. Unfortunately some free patterns are lacking some important instructions and the end result is disappointing, but many patterns are beautiful and plenty of commercial patterns are available for free on the internet, patterns which have undergone testing and passed muster. One of my favorite websites for free patterns is Crochet Pattern Central which has tutorials, stitch instructions and a well organized pattern directory. Another favorite is Free Vintage Crochet which features tried and true patterns from old sources.
I cannot recommend enough the joys of crocheting to any one who needs a diversion. We do not have television service and despite collecting several classic television series and accumulating a respectable collection of home DVDs and videos, there are only so many nights I can spend watching a screen, it is mind numbing. Crochet is a totable hobby so it increases my enjoyment because I can take it along with me. This makes it as enjoyable for me as reading, and it is obviously more interactive. When I'm done reading I've expanded my mind, when I'm done crocheting I have something beautiful to show for it, and it is a pleasure of a different sort, something to share with those around me.
Generally I give away everything I've ever made. It was like I almost felt it was wrong to make something for myself. I've decided I'm going to start making some things I would enjoy owning, things to keep for myself that I would not be able to afford ready made. This brings me to another joy to be had in crocheting. You can really run the spectrum of prices in yarns. There are beautiful yarns to be had for very little money. Some of my most admired projects have cost me less than $10, some less than $5. To make a beautiful item, sure to be cherished and left behind after I'm gone (that's a disturbing thought, lol) for so little money, is a great satisfaction. My first gift for myself after I finish two planned projects, is going to be a shawl. I love the genuinely feminine beauty of a shawl, and the way it feels to wrap yourself up in one. It is a comforting indulgence, a connection with the past, it makes me think of my grandmother. I cannot wait.