So those of you who know me know I’ve been cultivating my inner Zaynab during my blogiday. You’ve seen the yarn on the floor, on the couches, in the bed, in Noora’s hair, on my clothes. Yarn was carried in my pockets during walks while crochet hooks took the place of pens in my hair and behind my ears while at home. I slept with yarn, ate with yarn, and typed with yarn.
Even Hassan has become hip to crochet–he can tell when I’m off gauge in a project before I can, though he adamantly refuses to ever pick up a hook and crochet himself!
I recently told you about Zaynab (ra), the wife of the Prophet Muhammad (saws) who I most liken myself to in my post about Muslim women who inspire me. She did leatherwork (tanning and piercing leather) and embroidery, sold what she made, bought food from it, cooked the food, and then distributed it to the hungry. I’ve been thinking of selling items I crochet, and I actually sold quite a few this past winter, but I’m realizing that I don’t have the time for it apart from my hobby interests. I’d rather write and crochet for charity, rather than end up hating crochet because it feels too much like work. Perhaps crochet as a job can be a seasonal thing with the advent of winter and babies…
Actually, one of the reasons I’ve gravitated towards crochet is besides its total functional artistic appeal, I feel that we, as a modern culture, have vastly lost our connection to certain skills that were commonplace only decades ago. I mean, I’m still asking my mom to hem my skirts and scarves. And I’m a little paranoid that if the world was to go through some devastating event, only a handful of people would be able to make functional items from let’s say, yarn, grass, raffia, twigs, and leaves, and those people’s skills would be in demand, just like in yester-millennia. I wanted to learn to do something that could make a difference. Not just art for art’s sake, but art that can be gifted to keep someone warm…clothed…adorned.
And thus I give you…
I started it in April with the publishing of the pattern designer, Linda Permann’s book Little Crochet. I finished it one day after the one month anniversary of the book, and am very proud of it. It’s my first sweater, and I’ve only been crocheting since October 2010. Actually, I learned and forgot how to crochet a total of
three four times (once in elementary school, around 5th or 6th grade, from my then-best friend’s mom who was an Army Wife. I then proceeded to forget until college when I was reintroduced to the craft during a local art education conference, then erased my mind again until I started practicing stitches with grannies at my local Ben Franklin’s art and craft supply store. I never graduated from doing swatches though so I became bored…and forgot. Fast forward to years later A.N. (After Noora), and I so desperately wanted to make my little girl something from the heart. I tried my best to make a hat for her aqiqa, but that didn’t work out. I think I might’ve cursed the whole craft at that point for not opening its secrets to me…but then I tried again in October, and refused to give up…until it clicked (thanks to the book Stitch ‘n Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker). And so here we are now. I started with hats, graduated to a fall/winter skirt, and am now on sweaters, slippers, and anything I so choose. I am no longer a beginner. This sweater marks me into the territory of intermediate (that’s what the pattern says).
But all this to say…would you be interested in joining me in my crafting adventures on another blog? I actually started creating the blog during the blogiday already, but it’s not quite ready to launch. It’d be devoted to my journey in crochet and learning other historical arts of the hand (sewing, embroidery, cross-stitching, etc.) as well as parenting interests. But I don’t think The Sandal is the place to do it. Or rather, I won’t let The Sandal be the place to do it. This blog is my travelogue around the world through space and time on topics of (mostly) Muslim interest and to chronicle my journey as an author. But another blog on artsy-crafty-mama stuff…what do you think? Would you join me on that adventure?