Saturday, December 29, 2007

Be Not Afraid

I've made it an annual event. Every Winter Solstice, I pick a new hobby or pastime to teach myself.

Last year, it was the guitar after telling myself for years that I was not musically inclined. This year, I was undecided until a basic need to keep my hands busy and ward off boredom presented itself. The short story was that I quit smoking. The long story is that a full month later, I'm still as antsy as Sasquatch at a Beautician's Convention.

So I asked for a ball of yarn and a hook from my knitty girlfriend and resolved to learn to crochet.

Thus far, I had resisted the call of yarn. Several of my female relatives either knitted, crocheted, or latch hooked, but being a tomboy I had no need for such sissy pastimes. There were matchbox races to run and tree houses to build and fall out of. But I digress.

The story I'm telling here is my interpretation of Gabriel's Message. Or...what the angel would have told Mary if she'd decided to learn to crochet instead of...oh I don't know... have the squalling brat that changed EVERYTHING.

BE NOT AFRAID - It's just knots you make on purpose. Look at diagrams. Watch videos. Watch someone do it. It will click even through your first attempts will end up looking like yarn versions of various internal organs. I made several kidneys, a pancreas, and a uvula before things started to click. I also made a pimp hat for a cat named Figgy, but he doesn't want me to talk about that.

BE NOT UNPICKY - If the yarn you're using feels yucky, don't use it. Find a yarn you like. It doesn't have to be the most expensive yarn either, by the way. The yarn I'm learning with came from the bargain bin at AC Moore. What makes it useful to me is that it's big enough to see what I'm doing, but it's not fibrous and doesn't hitch me up.

BE NOT DISCOURAGED - If you don't get it right away, it doesn't mean you can't do it. I know a doctor who pronounced it harder than surgery after never making it beyond the internal organ stage. Rip it back. Rip it back again. Rip it all the way back to the original single chain if you have to. It will eventually, miraculously, and fabulously make sense all of a sudden. I promise.

And when the moment comes when it all comes together and you are on your way to making a lovely scarf...BE NOT SHY in proclaiming the following:

Crocheting....YOU. ARE. MY. BITCH.