I learned how to crochet at the beginning of quarantine. I decided I wanted to make a seven-foot lime-green, comically skinny scarf to go with the color of my hair at the time. I imagined it being long enough to wrap around my neck many times, and still have it hang down to my feet. This is how I try new things: an image will pop up and so I teach myself how to create it. I tried getting into GarageBand to make music, I learned how to sew because I wanted to dress up as a milk-maid in a pinafore. To be honest, I was expecting to make a silly scarf, but crocheting has given me so much more: it has offered me respite and a path to self-acceptance.
Over the last few years, I have found that keeping my hands busy helps calm my mind and gives me something to focus on. Crocheting is perfect as it is something tactile to have in front of me, it gives me a break from the emotions running through my body, and my busy thoughts that never stop.
It turns out that crocheting is actually quite a feminine art form. This year, when I was asked to create something that portrayed a personal part of my identity for my senior Advanced Studio Art class, I immediately knew I would crochet my piece and decided on a sweater in various shades of pink. I wanted to express both my susceptibility to fabrics, and also highlight my gender and sexuality. The pinks were hot, pale, chunky, and fuzzy, and along the neckline, I embroidered the phrase “let me out, please” in electric lime to underscore the itchy feeling yarn gives me when I try to wear it.
My tactile-ness expresses itself in different ways: while I experience clear preferences for specific fabrics, I enjoy crocheting physical gifts for people. I make material objects, like crocheted hats and scarves to show affection and appreciation. It is easier than having to use words and put myself in a vulnerable and uncomfortable position. However, as I deepen my self-awareness, I am enjoying creating those physical representations, not just for others, but also for myself.
What Are You Looking At? 72″ x 12″, soft sculpture with crochet elements
Sorry, Repeat That. 8 x 11, charcoal.