Crochet is my goddess, my muse, my life. I owe a debt of gratitude to crochet so deep that I know I will be loving crochet for the rest of my life.
And if you think that’s dramatic, get your popcorn ready and strap in.
This is my crochet story, how in the most difficult time in my family’s life (honestly, worldwide pandemic has nothing on this!) I found respite and relief through yarn and hook, and how crochet continues to give me life, through illness and health, rain and sun, every single day.
My crochet story starts ordinary enough.
Like many I was first taught to crochet by my grandmother when I was young. I specifically remember being absolutely fascinated by the single hook and yarn, and placing my hands over hers as we worked crochet magic together.
Again like many, my mother in law taught me knitting when I was pregnant with my son. I liked knitting, but I didn’t love it, and soon put down my needles before the baby blanket was finished.
I was led back to crochet by my daughter, then fourteen, as she sat in the hospital visiting room. Other patients were knitting and crocheting and she thought it might be something I could teach her. My heart.
A year before, my daughter became ill. To protect my daughter’s privacy I’ll skip the many months of tests, doctors and hospital visits and diagnosis. To protect my sanity I’ll skip…so much more of it.
Nothing prepares you for your child having a potentially life threatening illness.
Shock, guilt, pain. Oh the pain.
I simultaneously felt her pain and felt my own as my child suffered. My family was in pain and I felt it all.
I know above all who suffered, she suffered the most. And that agonising knowledge was and still is hard to bear.
The illness happened to her, inside her body and mind. She fought it and it was her immense resilience, strength and determination that pulled her through. She is awesome. AWESOME.
And having said that, this is not my daughter’s story, or an account of her illness, or advice on coping with a crisis or the point of view of my son or husband. They are all valid and worthy stories but for others to tell, for another time.
“Can you teach me crochet, it looks like something you’d know about,” she asked. I looked up crochet youtube videos, entered my local yarn shop for the first time and joined a local knit and natter group to learn face to face. And so I taught my daughter and away we went.
Hospital visits transformed as crochet gave us both focus, distraction, time. Crochet became a shared language, on the days when talking was hard, we crocheted together. We crocheted apart. We crocheted for each other.
Ten months. She was in hospital for ten long months. And we both crocheted. I crocheted every single day, from when I woke up, to visiting time, then back home to crochet some more.
Her illness blew a hole in our family which only started healing as she started healing. I am in awe of her incredible strength and ability to heal and recover.
No one wants to re-live that time.
Yet here I am, touching it lightly so I can show you how crochet saved me and it can save you too.
Crochet allowed me to be in the moment. It soothed my soul and distracted my mind. At times I existed minute by minute, stitch to stitch.
Hook, yarn, stitch, repeat.
I found solace in the rhythmic stitches, a perfect escape from everything around me. When I crocheted I felt calm, unburdened, free. I dreamt of colour, texture and possibilities. My world expanded as I travelled between home and hospital.
Crochet also gave me new friends from the knitting group, wiser, older women who accepted me, shared their knowledge, skills and vintage pattern books with me, laughed, cried and untangled yarn with me.
At the end of that summer my daughter returned home and our family was complete again.
She is now a young adult living her best life! And I’m living my best crochet life.