So I’ve had a secret for a while that I’m almost a little embarrassed to admit.
It all started innocently enough one rainy weekend at the beach – a momentary distraction to fill the day I thought – and now I can’t get enough.
Ok, I’ll say it really quickly … ‘I’ve started crocheting and I love it’.
Yes – really and honestly I mean crocheting. That funny little activity with an odd shaped hook and balls of wool that you’ve probably only seen old ladies do.
We’ve been spending most of our weekends at the beach recently where I’ve been working really hard on trying to live more mindfully (something I’ve talked about working on before – see here and here). So this means spending as much time as possible outside slowly and actively doing ‘things’ rather than just rushing around from one thing to the next.
On this particular weekend however we were stuck inside because of torrential rain. I try to keep television watching to a minimum on the weekend (I’ve even put the TV inside a cabinet so it is not the focus of our living space at the beach) so we were working our way through the usual indoor activities – baking cakes, playing games and drawing with little Miss Seven – but eventually she’d had enough and all she wanted to do was watch a movie.
To be honest my entertainment levels were starting to wane – so I was quite glad to have 90 minutes back to myself. As the time wore on however I found myself feeling bored.
I tried picking up a book – even considered cleaning up some cupboards (was only a fleeting thought ;)) – but I had an overwhelming feeling to make something, which was odd as I’m not a particularly – in fact not at all – crafty person.
I’d been thinking a lot about crocheting recently (had seen some ‘actually’ cute crocheted items at the markets) so I decided to give it a go. I mean, how hard could it be?
I took a drive to the local town where they have a Big W store in the mall and headed to the craft section. Right in the middle was a shelf of ‘how to’ guides with exactly what I was looking for … Learn to Crochet.
I loaded up my basket with some wool and crochet hooks (to be honest I had no idea what I was buying – who knew both hooks and wool come in various sizes/weights) – but figured anything would do to get started.
I’m not going to lie – the ‘all you need to know’ guidebook wasn’t exactly a truthful claim. And I spent many hours that night shouting at YouTube tutorials (I needed more help than the book) to ‘slooooow down!!!’. But in the end I did master two of the key stitches, and by the end of the weekend I had managed to finish a pink (of course) beanie for little Miss Seven.
I’ve since made a couple of other beanies (one even requested by my sister) and even started on an old-fashion nana style blanket. The colours are a bit bold I know, but our beach house (well shack) is quite kitsch so it goes with the rest of the decor.
I’ve also obviously copped lots of flack from family and friends about my new hobby – and have heard all the ‘nana’ jokes – but at the end of the day there is nothing better than just sitting down for half an hour and working on my blanket.
I am working on living more mindfully – but I have to admit I find it really hard. My brain is always going at a million miles an hour and to be honest it’s often exhausting.
When I crochet however it actually stops.
I can’t say why it happens – maybe it’s because I’m still not very good and I’m concentrating hard on what I’m doing – but my mind actually gets quiet and it’s the closest I’ve ever been to meditation. Its actually incredibly relaxing.
When I was chatting with a friend recently she pointed out something that is actually quite obvious. Our lives are meant to be filled with a number of menial tasks – grinding wheat for bread, scrubbing floors, handing washing clothes etc – but we’ve automated everything (I don’t even sweep my floors any more, I have an iRobot for that) so we just fill up our time with activities that keep our brain engaged all the time and eventually we get exhausted.
Taking time out – however you choose to do it is so important. Again it goes back to making time for self (which I talked about here). For me, for now, it’s crocheting – so I’ll keep doing it.
If you’re interested in joining me there’s a very simple beanie pattern over at the HappyBerry crochet blog which I’d recommend!