Monday, May 16, 2011

Why I fell in love with crocheting

Having only ever knitted two things in my life, that both grew twice as large as they should have.... I spent my youth painting and dancing, persuing non-verbal drama and mime.
When I was 27, I decided to buy a ball of Pastel Rainbow cotton and a crochet hook, after seeing the lovely yarn a friend had just bought 2 balls of. I decided to only get one ball and a hook, and asked her to teach me.

She taught me the basic chain stitch as we returned from a festival we'd been working at, and to make chain loop crystal pouches and berets. Telling me to go to an opp shop (thrift store), and get any crochet pattern there. It would have the abbreviations to make the other stitches for me to learn.

Having a half finished crystal pouch on the go, I tried out the Treble Stitch (Double Treble US), on to the inch long pouch, and voila, it flared outwards !

No longer a pouch it began to turn into a conical shape and Voila, my first Gum-Nut Pixie hat began to take shape! The pattern I had purchased was of a sixties cap with a star pattern, so I began to read my first pattern, not something I have done very much of since then, BTW ! lol

I wore this hat everywhere, and people at my Saturday morning Market in the hills, were constantly asking me to make them one just like it !

So began my role in our community as a hat maker, which is funny, because at the age of 16 I said, " When I grow up I will have a Hat Shop ! ; having just bought a huge bag of old ladies hats from an opp shop, or opportunity shop as we call them in Australia.

Opportunities as a Beanieologist (Hat Maker), continued as I constantly 'freeformed' hat after hat, trying to replicate my hat for my friends. Some were down right horrible, in my mind, 'tho not in the eyes of others. One such hat, of a weird shape, became the favourite hat of someone I re-met recently, and she told me how much she loves that hat still.

What I love about crocheting, is that it is constantly teaching me things, often by accidental 'mistakes'.....and that I can take my art wherever I go. I travelled this vast continent for 12 years as a Crocheting Nomad, and even made a hat detailing the journey. And also...... you can't 'Drop' stitches or Add them on without realising...... like in my two early knitting experiences, One hook and a ball of yarn and magically a fine fabric grows...... It is such a calming occupation I even take it into the Dentist chair and do a few stitches in between nasty processes ! and it relaxes me and focusses my mind !

I mostly always 'Free Form' my work, and have won several awards at the annual Beaniefest in Alice Springs in Central Australia, out near Uluru (Ayers Rock). At present I am working on my competition entry for the year's theme "In Our Element ...Earth, Air, Fire and Water" and a Coral Sea Wrap for a local Fibre Exibitition.
I will blog about them soon and post pix on my Flickr page too

- Megan Jack


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