Crocheting In A World Of Modernity: Part I

Happy Tuesday everyone! Hope your day is going well, and productive. 🙂

Today’s post is going to highlight a different aspect of Crochet Buddies. As the title suggests, this is a little more on the insightful side, and less on the dolls and store updates. Those posts, of course, are still coming, but I figured it’s time to write something more directly related to crochet, to transition into a different sort of post for those who’d like to participate in our community.

Also, the inspiration for this came from a very delightful and wonderful new correspondence. I won’t spoil anything yet, but the excitement is surely mounting nonetheless. 😉

Deep breath. Okay, ready? Terrific.

Technology has become a predominant aspect of life, particularly for those born at the turn of the millennia. As new upgrades in technological equipment, education, accessibility and other areas are added to enhance communication, kids are becoming more technologically adept and innovative. However, when one thing enhances, something else gets pushed to the side, or altogether disappears. And that something is one of the most useful, important skills in the creative world.

I was still young when the iPhone came out (in 2007), but over the years I’ve seen how kids my age and younger are particularly geared toward technology. Which isn’t always a bad thing–I’ve come to rely on it for online classes, and to correspond with virtually anyone in the craft realm. But it can certainly limit one’s curiosity in other areas; specifically creativity and natural use of motor function.

Motor function is, essentially, movement of the muscles. When one undertakes, for instance, a certain dance choreography, performing it again and again, that repetition turns into muscle memory which is integrated into core motor function. Without muscle memory, one would have a much harder time remembering how to type, play an instrument, or perform the simplest of tasks. That’s why it’s important to broaden the scope of motor function and turn it into something else useful.

Which brings us to the core of the argument: crochet and crafting are incredibly valuable. As skills, they not only enhance motor function, but also stimulate ingenuity in the brain and become a very physical exercise (how many of you get sore hands after hours of crocheting?). As crafts, crocheting beautiful artifacts paves the way for the invention of intricate, lasting designs. There are crochet scholarships, even as extensive as marine biology, where crochet is a significant research method. As a business, selling handmade items can sustain one’s income or pay college tuition. On a personal scale, showing one’s progression and accomplishments in the craft boosts one’s self-confidence, perception and creation of a unique crafting identity. So it’s vastly important to share as much about crochet with younger generations as possible, before these techniques slip forever into the abyss.

That’s one of the ultimate goals of Crochet Buddies: to give back to as many people as possible, kids and adults alike, through sharing knowledge of crochet and other crafts. Whether such knowledge is incorporated as a form of stress relief, fashion design, decorative applique or the understanding of a mathematical formula, it is there to teach, and to form a withstanding community of thinkers and achievers. For kids especially, learning to make items for themselves, family members, dolls and even pets is a critical learning tool, and a satisfying hobby to have.

Crochet isn’t entirely left-brain either. As some of you can attest, creating a pattern requires hours of meticulous trial and error; or it can just come naturally. That’s why I believe crochet, among other crafts, has the limitless capacity to keep the mind challenged, and spur imagination. It isn’t merely something sweet, quiet elderly people do. And even if so, think about Miss Marple. She always had some form of handiwork nearby, and look how much insight she had on human nature! (I’m sure Agatha Christie, being her creator, had just as much if not doubly more insight to offer while quietly going about her knitting.)

Also, it’s NOT just for women. Social constructs see most, if not all, forms of handicraft as a feminine skill. That irritates me to no end. My dad had to darn socks, as well as drive tractors at an early age. He’s far from “girly,” but it was a necessary skill to learn simple things like sewing, and he’s glad he did. A kid I knew many years ago said his favorite hobby was finger knitting. And if you’re still not convinced, this is an inspiring example of one kid who literally crocheted his way into college. (Who, by the way, crochets WAY faster than I, or anyone I know! Check him out on YouTube and you’ll see what I mean.)

Additionally, crochet has applied math to the creation of hyperbolic masterpieces. If the gap between math and crochet had not been bridged, there would be no crochet coral reefs, no hyperbolic plane, no palpable way to turn a subject many would find boring into a wonderfully intriguing concept. I witnessed it firsthand when I was asked to help teach my classmates how to crochet corals. It was a remarkable experience. (And yes, the boys had to learn too. They did pretty well, actually!)

Furthermore, putting all these skills into practice can amplify communication, interaction, and a sense of belonging. These are all things that come from an act of kindness; the making and giving of a gift. In this form, handmade, lovingly crafted items are a representative of sharing, interacting, learning and spreading the knowledge unto others. The core of aesthetic, tangible value and skill comes from handicrafts. And it’s this skill that must not be allowed to go to the wayside.

I could be here all day writing about the positive advantages of learning to crochet. But now it’s time to motivate you, Dear Reader, even further. If you’re new to crochet, and don’t know where to start, not to worry. You’ve come to the right place. 🙂 As the summer progresses, I’ll be updating the Blog and overall site with step-by-step tutorials, patterns, tips and advice, and more answers to the FAQs. I’ll also be contacting a few crochet friends to see if they can post periodically on this Blog, and further establish the Crochet Buddies community.

If you don’t think crochet is for you, or if you can’t seem to get the hang of it, don’t give up yet! There are tons of other crafts to keep your creative mind occupied. Knitting, cross stitch, latch hooking, needlework, felting, the list goes on and on.

So don’t be afraid to pull out a few crochet hooks and some yarn, and start making something–whether you’re in the middle of a crowd, or on your own. As my Latin teacher told us today: “Take your book with you, and read through it intensely. You can be studying on the bus, at the grocery store, waiting in line, in the middle of a tennis session…. It’s those few minutes between activities that give you the time to really learn, if you so choose.”

The same applies to crochet. Don’t be apprehensive of what others may think of you, or what you think others may think of you. In all the times someone has walked up to me and asked what I was doing or making, it was never out of spite, never out of jealousy, but simply curiosity. If it’s someone who does the same craft as you, well, even better!

Also, don’t feel awkward if you see a fellow crafter, albeit a stranger, and want to say hi, but don’t know how. Ten to one you’ll soon be in the middle of a deep craft-related discussion, and will have made a close friend. It’s happened before, and it’ll happen again, I assure you.

If you have some free time, go to a local craft shop. Stroll down the isles. Pick out something you see as being a potential project; or, at the very least, write it down. Keep it in mind. Then genuinely pursue it. Don’t let that spark of creativity vanish before you get the chance to fully embrace it.

Finally, to quote one of my friends, who recently got her driver’s license: “I didn’t get it to buy the car, I got it to have the skill, to be able to say to myself, I know how to drive, I can do this.” That, my friends, is what crochet is all about. And it’s what we hope to share with you all in future.

So stick around! There will be tons, and I repeat, tons more posts about crochet coming very soon! 🙂

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