“The only source of knowledge is experience.” -Albert Einstein
I have been crocheting a long time. Well, let’s be frank. I’ve been bull shitting with a crochet hook and yarn on and off for a very long time.
My mom taught me one stitch when I was a child, a stitch I now know as “single crochet.” I crocheted my one stitch up until after I left college for good.
After a lapse, I learned to expand on that one stitch by experimenting with hooks and yarn. It was fun wrapping the yarn around the hook and discovering the various shapes and textured that could be made into a stitch… and then discovering all the places you could stitch into!
Experiments on top of experiments:
What an epiphany it was to realize that I didn’t have to crochet back and forth, always into the next stitch! There are so many shapes to be created! My brain went nuts. Things took off for a while, and I was commissioned to make countless mermaid blankets and other items through my long neglected Etsy shop.
The first one:
I designed many variations.
They were so much fun to make.
I allowed myself $3 per hour plus materials. That seems crazy now, but I was happy and my college loans dwindled until they disappeared entirely, thanks to the mermaid tails.
My problem was that my RA was worsening, and I lacked the skill set to make the new designs I was dreaming up a reality. I still didn’t have a clue about stitch names or crochet terminology. It was frustrating to have to say no when people asked me if I sold patterns. I’ve thought of all the mermaid tail patterns I could have sold and mourn over the sad state of my bank account.
So I pulled back and re-evaluated. It was high time to cut the bull and learn me some things.
I knew I was pattern illiterate, and I knew was reluctant to change. I wanted to write patterns so I could keep designing but also preserve my hands. But I was also afraid my creativity would be stifled by having to name things and write down what I was doing.
That was just silly, and I’ve come to realize I was just shying away from applying myself. I am an artist, and I always will be. A little organization won’t kill me. Any knowledge I gain can only serve to enhance whatever contributions I make to the wonderful world of crochet.
And so once I was satisfied I had figured out as much as I could on my own with my hook experiments, I set myself to learning. I learned the names of the stitches I thought I’d invented, and I learned many new stitches. I learned, above all, that there is always more to learn.
I learned to follow complex patterns and simple ones.
My version of “Suna Mandara,” designed by Nicki Chapin.
Now I have written my first small pattern(link below), and I have drafted several more. Writing patterns is a slow and difficult business for me.. I can confidently make things and feel like I know what I’m doing, until I go to write down or explain how I’m doing what I’m doing. But, I feel like I’m finally ready to really dive into it, and I have to assume it will get easier and more comfortable the more I do it.
I’m determined, and that will be enough! I just have to do things my own way, in my own time, no matter how broke I get doing it. 🙂