To take a ball of string and use knitting or crochet to turn it from nothing into a beautiful blanket, scarf, hat, or other item can be truly amazing. Watching something take form and be created is a fun, relaxing task that not everyone knows the joy of.
The first time I picked up a crochet hook, I was maybe seven years old. My mom, who had been an avid crocheter for as much of my life as I can remember, taught me, just as she’d been taught by her grandmother years ago. I grabbed my first crochet hook and made a chain - a really, really long one.
Luckily, I’ve since learned a few more techniques and have learned to create many other items. Over time I’ve created gifts for friends, blankets for new babies, scarves for my husband and daughter, and so many other wonderful things. For Stacey Kellogg, the act of crocheting is relaxing and fun, and something she taught herself 10 years ago.
“About 10 years ago I taught myself to crochet by buying a book (very cheesily called: I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting!). I still use that thing from time to time. Now, I teach myself new stitches and techniques through YouTube. I consider myself an intermediate stitcher; I’ve not really experimented with super complex patterns or fibers. For me, crochet is really about relaxation and creating something functional,” said Kellogg.
For those looking to get started in crochet, there are plenty of resources. From online websites, youtube, to local shops, there’s plenty of ways to learn. Valparaiso boasts a local yarn shop, Sheep's Clothing , while Griffith has Spinnin’ Yarns, both of which host beginners workshops to get anyone started. Some of the chain craft stores of the area also host workshops and sell the basic supplies that can get anyone started.
For those who get started, gathering with friends who have a similar interest, or teaching younger generations to crochet can be a relaxing and rewarding experience. While I tend to crochet at home and have recently begun teaching my kiddo, Kellogg enjoys the ability to interact with others while stitching something together.
“One of the things I’ve started to like about crochet is the social aspect of it. The other day, I grabbed my thread bag and met a friend who likes to knit at Blackbird Café in Valpo, and we had breakfast and coffee, and stitched for hours. It was so relaxing, and great to run into friends coming in and out of the café,” explained Kellogg.
For Kellogg and myself, the ability to create something beautiful, unique, and functional all starts with a simple ball of yarn and a little bit of inspiration. And with a little practice and dedication, anyone can get started on a new hobby.