I rarely compare my two favorite activities – writing and crochet. Recently, while working on a particularly difficult crochet design, I realized how much crochet has in common with writing. Crochet and writing are time consuming hobbies – I say hobbies because it can be difficult to make money doing either. Both require ideas, patience, and revisions and both are incredibly rewarding.
All projects start with an idea. In crochet, I begin designing a pattern by having an image in my head of the bookmark, afghan, or pot holder that I want to make. From there, I have to figure out the stitches that will create the image in my mind. It’s the equivalent of an outline – an idea of where you want to go and how you want to get there.
All projects require patience. When I design crochet patterns, I will be halfway through making something when I realize that it’s too big or too small or just not what I had in mind. This is like writing the rough draft. It’s time to get all the words on paper and see what happens.
All projects require revision. Sometimes I crochet a large portion of a new design and discover mistakes. That usually means I have added or missed stitches. Once that happens, I have to unravel the portion of the project until I can correct the mistake. Revisions are like this. In writing, revisions are a time to get rid of what isn’t working and keep what is.
My favorite thing about writing and crochet is that at the end, you have something tangible to show for your effort. All the time you have put into learning the craft is now visible in your work. You have something to show for all of those hours – maybe an afghan or a sweater, maybe a novel or a collection of poems.