Creativity is intelligence having fun ~ Albert Einstein

As much as I love creating my worlds of fiction there a moments that it isn’t much fun. I spend a lot of time working out the logic of the characters motives and actions, and it can be a draining endeavor.

In the past when I needed a break, but one that was creative, I went for a hike with the camera in hand and took photographs of various landscapes, buildings, and objects. But in this recent creative break I’ve turned my attention to crocheting. Until a couple of months ago, I never picked up a crochet hook, but after writing and editing some stories about fiber artists who crochet, and viewing the work of a friend who posts on Facebook, I was inspired to learn.

I started last fall and it was a disaster. My hands refused to cooperate. I wasn’t able to hold the hook or the yarn properly. And when I finally learned how to hold the crochet hook, I had trouble manipulating the yarn. Fast forward to the winter. I was determined that I would at least learn how to crochet a simple chain so I tried again. This time it was better, but the tension of the chain was too tight or too loose, leaving me frustrated. Once again, I put aside the hook and yarn and focused on the move up to the woods.

During our first week here at the mountain top home, I went to the library and saw in the new non-fiction section three books on crocheting. Was this a sign from the Near Great White Way gods telling me to try again? I checked the books out and loved what I saw. So I dug out my crochet hook and yarn from one of the boxes and tried again. Lo and behold, I could crochet a simple chain. This time my method to achieve the right tension was much improved. So now I started following the books’ instructions to make a slip stitch. Once I mastered that, I began to get ambitious. I wanted to learn how to single crochet. For some reason that took me a while to learn and it wasn’t until I did something by mistake that I realized I wasn’t doing it right. It turned out the mistake was the correct way.

Two days ago I decided that it was time to learn how to double crochet. After following one book’s instructions (which by the way, it is terribly overdue) I went to YouTube and found the most fabulous video tutorial created by New Stitch A Day. Now I can crochet a double stitch.

Suffice it to say, I am so hooked on crocheting that I went ahead and ordered yarn in various colors to make a simple sack bag.

Is crocheting fun? Yes, and relaxing, and addictive. But there’s something deeper about crocheting. It allows me to clear my mind, but also to think, and I believe helps me concentrate, becoming more focused and less absent-minded.

Now that I have a deeper appreciation of the craft, I say this to all women who have children: teach them to crochet. Pull them away from the video games, the texting on their phones, and give them a crochet hook and some yarn. If they can’t crochet in silence put on music, or plug them into an audio book. It’s amazing how this simple action of creating knots can help you be more attentive. I finished an entire audio book while I was learning to single crochet and not once did my attention wane from hook or book.

For me this as The Summer of Crochet, make it yours as well. You won’t regret it.