Thursday, March 03, 2011

Why Do I Crochet?





OK, I promised myself to do more with this blog thing, so here goes....

Why Do I Crochet?
Well, first thing, it gives me a great feeling of accomplishment, of being creative, and having determination.

As a young teenager, I never really thought I was much good at any one thing. I was taught to believe in striving to be a 'Jack of all Trades, but a Master at One!!'

So, when I 'sold' my very first crochet item I made, that blew me away!!

Got me to thinking, 'OK, Kenny, maybe there's something to this crochet thing!!'

I've always been a kind of 'loner', so sitting down and crocheting by myself was great for me. I would get into a kind of 'zone', and shut the world out. It especially helps whenever I get sad or depressed.

I found that it's been the one constant in my inconsistant life.

I did have some issues with it during my early 20's, mainly because of people's perceptions and prejudices of what crochet is and that it's a 'woman's' thing.

So you know where I'm going, right? ;-) No need to say it, right?

I'm from a Black urban neighborhood, in a major city, lived here all my life, except for attending college in a very rural area, where I first learned to crochet.

So, what did I know? I was so happy that I was good at something, even to the pointy of trying my hand in even sewing (not a big fan!), and contemplating going to a Fashion school in NYC.

OK, so they didn't work,( a kid can dream, right?), but at least it began to open my creative side, which led me into photography, dance, and even some modeling (back when I had a 'good looking moment!, hee, hee!!)

But most my crocheting in the late 70's was done in private, very few people knew, sold things behind the scenes (my Mom was my business manager). By the 80's, I rarely crocheteed at all. Resided to the fact that 'resl men' didn't crochet...at least not in public. Whenever I wore something crocheted, I usually tell people when asked, "who made that?", a female family member did. :-(

But in the early 90's, I got really sick and found myself bedridden, most of the time feeling sad and depressed.

So,after a while, I got tired of feeling sorry for myself, I began to pick up crocheting again. My goal was to try to make every adult in my immediate family a small afghan. At least it would be something to remember me by, should my health turned for the worst.

Well, I did make a afghan for most of my family, and as luck would have it, I started to feel better. Saw a episode of Oprah called 'Use Your Life". If there was something you enjoy, why not do something with it, using the power of positive thing...

So, I figured that this must be a sign.....BE GRATEFUL FOR THE GIFTS YOU HAVE!!

I decided to do more, The idea of teaching crochet came to mind, but Who?, Where?, How?

Well, back in college, I started a Sat morning class for a little while, and that seem not so bad, so why not not now?

I decided to try senior centers because the women were from a different generation, and might appreciate a 'young blood' showing in the same interests, and as long as I could prove myself that I, as a Black male, took crocheting seriously, and could back it up, I'd be accepted.

I did and I was...

So, in a nutshell, I crochet just because it gives me great joy, comfort, the ability to give and share, and make good long lasting friends.

And, if I don't like something, I can rip it out, and start all over again, or, just make something else! ;-)

Wish I could do some 'people' like that!!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ken,
You rock!

my spare time design said...

Yup, you have the right attitude...and it always takes an unbeaten path, it seems, to get there but now you've made yourself happy and that's the best gift ever!

'Joyce' said...

Congratulations to you Ken. Such an inspiring post and wonderful blog. Never give up on what makes you the you that you are right here and right now. If crochet is your thing, then grab that hook and get going I say. My crochet goes everywhere with me and even as a woman, I get many comments that 'wow - people still crochet these days?' lol Sure they do, why not!! Thanks again.

AuĂ° said...

I laughed when you said you didn't like to sew - I don't either! - whenever I need some sewing work done, I usually barter a crochet piece to a good friend, who has a knack for sewing! :D

I'm pretty good at a bunch of arts and crafts - crochet, cross stitch, drawing, painting, and (simple) jewelry-making.

I found another interesting gap in the crochet continuum - age. It always surprises people when I say that I crochet. "But - you're not old!" ( It also doesn't help that my name is Audrey! :D )
On the plus side, it gave me something in common with my 82-yr old neighbor...we could always "shop talk" about her lovely afghans, doilies, and her cross-stitch, too! I would show her all my new amigurumi creations (and even give them to her as gifts: http://audsartblog.blogspot.com/2010/12/melting-snowman-amigurumi.html). I don't know if I would have had anything in common with her otherwise - so, at the very least, crochet helped me to make a terrific friend.
Keep hookin' brother! I really enjoy your blog! :)

CrochetDad said...

Ken - a great post - thanks for being an inspiration to me.

daperfectmix said...

what a great post. i'm glad you don't have to hide your wonderful gifts. thanks for sharing that gift and your story!