Saturday, October 2, 2010

Life in Stitches

Stitch by stitch an object is created. One element on top of another, repeated over and over again in a variable sequence. What begins as an indistinguishable mass slowly and tediously takes shape to become a recognizable object. Order from chaos, the basis of the entire universe summed up in one little craft project. Each stitch an atom, each row a molecule, the object a sum of its parts and the realization of a thousand little stitches. I can follow the same pattern a hundred times, but each outcome will be slightly different. Different stitch, different tightness on the hook, different isotope. The yarn will have variations. Whatever I create is absolutely unique, and it is not just because I have the compulsion to combine colors in strange ways and add stitching flourishes where there usually aren't any.

My compulsion to crochet has been renewed. For the past week, I've been creating hats. Every one of them is different. I use different stitch patterns, different types and textures of yarns, and different colors. They fit on different sized heads. I made a newborn hat for a friend's baby, a toddler hat that my son does not fit into yet, and three sizes in between. Five hats so far.

I don't remember when I learned to crochet. I did it quite a bit in college, and my interest has waxed and waned ever since. I've made huge objects, like a 8x6ft afghan, and small objects like baby socks. I crochet when I watch TV or movies because I can never sit still. I always need something to occupy my hands and mind. My house is full of things I've made, and other houses have pieces of my idle work as well. I've made baby gifts and birthday presents. My favorite was a partially dismembered zombie doll I gave to my amazing friend for her birthday.

The little creature in the picture above is the recipient of most of my current work. He is quite a fan of hats, and I'm glad for that because I'm working on his fourth hat now. I'll probably keep making baby hats for a while. I have a few more friends with babies due soon. Winter babies need warm heads and I need something to occupy my hands.

Stitch by stitch by stitch an object is created. One wrong snip and it can unravel into a totally unrecognizable mess. One right stitch, and something beautiful emerges. Something of my own creation, unique by my hand, unrepeatable, and fascinatingly strange.


  1. Where do you get your crochet patterns from? Or do you make them up?? I would love to make some fun hats like that for my little man (three months old)!!

  2. Lily, I freehand most of my hats, so no two of them really end up the same! This one is all dcs with a front post stitch every three stitches so that the ribbing spirals. I started at the brim and worked up to the point, decreasing slowly starting at the crown to get the conical shape.