I can't say I've ever been very fond of yarn. When I was a girl, my older sister spent hours crocheting incredibly intricate work, and I so envied her ability to make anything she found a pattern for—all while also making it look so easy.
I remember her teaching me to crochet a flower one day. I, foolishly, figured that because I was artistic, making a simple flower out of yarn and a hook would be easy-peasy. Well, I learned that day that although I could fill my notebooks with sketches of the Hanson brothers, I could definitely not crochet a flower without it looking seriously deranged. Being a complete perfectionist (and hating failure), I was so upset when my sister ran to show our mom the completed flower. My mom, always the encourager, didn't mention how mine looked like poo compared to the one my sister made. I seem to remember mine even being displayed on the handle of a cabinet in my parents bathroom for quite some time, too. I would give that darn thing the stink-eye every time I was in there brushing my teeth. It was pretty bad. I vowed to never pick up a crochet hook again as long as I lived.
When I first moved to California at the ripe old age of nineteen, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents, whom I lived with. (Before I made any local friends, I also attended quite a few bingo nights and lodge meetings, but those are stories for another time.) Both my grandma and aunt are avid knitters, so I begged them to teach me. It somehow seemed less intimidating than crochet, and I immediately became obsessed. I only knew one stitch, but somehow ended up making more than a dozen scarves that first year.
(I made one from some obnoxiously fluffy yarn, and I remember Jay openly mocking it once when he found it in our closet after we were first married. He denies this ever happened, but I remember his eyes of judgement. A woman doesn't forget these things.)
At one point, I did even end up crocheting something (a cream colored shug sort-of-a-thing) with the help of my aunt, but in the past several years, I can't say I've done anything at all with either knitting or crochet and have completely forgotten anything I ever learned.
I recently found an old stash of yarn and one lone crochet hook I purchased at the dollar store ages ago. (Yep, they sell crochet hooks. Who knew? Man, I love that place.) After being inspired by adorable crocheted items one of my younger sisters sends me, and by one of my favorite crafty ladies, I decided to learn a couple basic stitches and see where it went from there.
Oh, my gosh, you guys! Look what I made! Yeah, I don't even know. I was going to un-do the whole thing, because my original intent was to just go along until holding the hook and making the stitches became more comfortable and less awkward, but once I got to a certain point, I decided to finish it and put it on something. Put a cozy on it, I always say. (Actually, I've literally never said that, but maybe now I will.)
When Jay came home the other night, I proudly showed him my work of art, and he was all, "Aw, it's a plant cozy." The fact that he knows what a cozy is made me love him a little bit more in that moment. It was much better than the expected, "Why is our tiny plant wearing a sweater?" I almost forgave him for mocking my fluffy scarf from days gone by.
In any case, I think it's safe to say I've found a new favorite craft. Crochet makes me feel so zen. I've been mulling over what to do with my shop now that I've reopened it, and I'm still sort of in a weird place. I'm trying to find a direction with it, and perhaps create some new items, or re-vamp some of my favorites. But right now it feels nice to sit back and learn something new—creating something for myself in the process. It's refreshing after making items to sell for so long, you know?
If you need me, I'll be having a love affair with this yellow yarn.