Can I just begin by reiterating again: I LOVE crochet and everything about it - NOW. But before I had this revelation, I - and I'm sorry if this upsets anyone - I really thought it was, well, umm... UGLY. And very, very, daggy. (For over-seas readers, that means totally uncool in Australian.) And very, very, granny-ish.
And (dare I say it?) I always loathed granny squares! I think because whenever I saw them, they were made in horrid, scratchy yarns, and were in garish, 70s colours. And they had a distinctly old-person connotation - and were therefore not my thing! In fact, that was the only crochet I can ever recall seeing in my childhood - granny squares and doilies. Both so not my thing.
BUT, what I'm saying is: that's changed now, so, before you all turn away in disgust, let me quickly defend myself and explain some of the things I never knew, and how these discoveries turned my mind around.
Never Knew crochet was FUN: Once I got the hang of it (and that was within an hour), it felt soooo good to do! It's hard to explain, but it just felt like great fun!
Never Knew crochet was rhythmic, and therapeutic: almost meditative! It soothes my stressed out mind and helps me wind down after a hectic day. The repetitive, rhythmic stitches bring out a wonderful meditative feeling that I think is very healthy to feel once in a while, and - until then - I wasn't feeling it! I'm sure it's been good for my health!
Never Knew crochet would help my diet: It's true: I've been snacking less. I used to spend some evenings each week, on the couch, watching telly... and inevitably, I'd get the munchies, and start snacking. Now, it feels strange to sit in front of the TV without crochet in my hands. And to stop to have a snack - well, that'd interrupt my crochet! :-) So, there you are: crochet can be good for your health! :-)
Never Knew crochet was colourful: until I found Attic24. Wow, that blog was a revelation! Lucy's blog showed me that crochet doesn't have to be bogged down with daggy, clashing browns and oranges from the 70s, and that it doesn't have to be exclusively granny squares! Rainbows rule in Lucy's world, and that's why she is able to bring such an optimistic blog to her readers, and brighten their day as she shares hers. Her colourful creations and her clear, step-by-step, free patterns allowed me to try out so very many things that I would never have even dreamed of attempting. Her blog has really carried me along on my journey, and I am forever grateful for her generous, sharing nature. :-)
Never Knew crochet could be more than just blankets and doilies: Thanks to Blogland and my local library, I've discovered that you can make all sorts of useful things like bags of every shape and size, jumpers, hats, scarves, boxes, slippers, hair-ties, jewellery, and the list goes on and on! And they don't have to have granny squares in them! :-) I Never Knew that you could make crochet that was not granny-square-ish, and not lacy/doily-like. I like the idea that you can make "crochet that doesn't look like crochet", if you know what I mean!
Never Knew yarn was so, so, so, wonderful: I used to think yarn (or "wool" as I used to call all yarns) was, just, wool - boring. Now I love to visit the yarn/knitting isle just to admire the colours, enjoy the textures, even when I'm not planning to buy any. I Never Knew that yarns could be so pretty, so colourful, so soft, so varied. I Never Knew that you can (that you're allowed!) to crochet with THICK yarns, and how different that can look. And I Never Knew that you could use other textiles - I found a wonderful book that showed how you can use string, plastic, leather thonging, rag strips - and this is an idea that really appeals to me.
Never Knew crochet could be beautiful: I think this was because I'd never taken the time to really look at any. And because I didn't understand or appreciate the effort and skill that goes into a piece of work. Now when I see an item that has been created with care, with a good sense of colours and tones, with neat, regular stitching, I am always filled with admiration and awe. (I also feel that way because these beautiful works are actually finished, something that I am yet to accomplish with many of my projects, so I am full of admiration of the creator's perseverance!) :-)
And now that I have found the wonderful collections of crochet on Flickr and on the internet in general, I am continue to see creations that amaze, inspire, and motivate me and I am so grateful to everyone who takes the time and effort to upload their pics and share them with the world through cyberspace.
and now, I'm going to admit it. To. The. World.
Never, Ever, Ever, Ever, Knew that I would START TO LIKE GRANNY SQUARES!: Yes, I have "turned to the dark side" LOL and have found that granny squares really are kinda groovy. No wonder they are popular - they are so quick and easy. And there are so many ways you can vary them! And they don't have to be multi-coloured, and they don't have to be just for blankets, and they can even become circles and flowers and hexagons, and ... well, as you can see, I really am on a journey of discovery! :-)
Never Knew crochet could also be done by people aged under 50: Again, this is a revelation that the internet has provided me! I don't think I know anyone in my face-to-face social circles (ie non-internet contacts) that is my age (I'm 35) and likes to crochet.
So I certainly felt very much the weirdo to have this new hobby, until I found that there are others like me, spread across the globe, kindred spirits who are in their 20s or 30s or 40s who also get excited about yarn, or the prospect of a new project, who look forward to quiet moments so they can get on with their crochet. People who, like me, also have jobs and little children and busy lives, but somehow fit the crochet in as well. It really has been wonderful "finding" many of you out there in blogland, and it is so very nice to "meet" you all. :-)
(As for the over 50s, I'm very happy to meet you all, too! I'm just trying to say that - while I did know that you older crochet-ers existed - I Never Knew about the younger ones, and that was a lovely surprise. So, no offence to you, I hope!)
And this leads me to my final point:
I Never Knew there was a whole world of blogs and websites that could inspire and support me:
The internet truly is such a wonderful and amazing thing and I think it's great for crafts like crochet. Instead of the old traditions dying out, I think the internet is helping to preserve them, allowing skilled, knowledgeable people to share their craft with the whole world. I learned how to do front-post and back-post stitches by watching tutorial videos on YouTube. That was fantastic! The videos were done so well, it was all clearly explained, and, of course, I could watch it over and over again until I got it right. A stranger in America showed me how to do that, and now over here in North Queensland, I can teach my kids one day.
And then, of course, there's the advice, support, encouragement I have found through what many refer to as "Blogland". :-) As I mentioned above, it has been so great to find others with this interest, and to discover the multitude of free patterns and tutorials out there. And everyone seems so helpful, so happy to give advice and share ideas. It's truly wonderful and it makes the world go 'round, I'm sure.
To all those bloggers that I've met so far, to those Flickr users who have shared photos, if any of you are reading this, I would like to say a HUGE Thank You to you all for sharing your work and your lives with me. You truly are a comfort and an inspiration and I love discovering and reading your blogs and finding out more and more about your creations.
It makes me feel like we're on this journey together. :-)
So, there you are. I really Never Knew.
But now I do.
And now I would like to start sharing what I've discovered. Maybe someone else out there Never Knew, either.
Thanks, everyone, for "listening".