What you’ll need: crochet hook, wool, access to YouTube. Optional: someone older, wiser and experienced in crochet to call on.
For years I have promised to learn the skill of my foremothers, but time, patience and the attention span to do so have evaded us. When I found myself isolating at my parents’ house for two months last lockdown – with countless balls of wool, oodles of time and my mother’s expertise at my disposal (along with some helpful YouTube videos narrated by a gentle Midwestern woman) – I finally took the plunge to learn the art of crochet. My first granny square didn’t come together easily. The claw-like hand position didn’t come naturally, the commands of ‘yarn over’ and ‘chain three’ didn’t compute with me. How do you make corners out of soft wool? That first misshapen square took a few days to complete. A couple more in, a change of crochet hook, and the practice eventually became natural, even meditative. Before I knew it, I was churning out perfect little (mostly) uniform granny squares in about 15 to 20 minutes a pop. With another lockdown ahead of me, it’s time to take that green bag full of squares and turn them into something dashing. Soon, I bet I’ll be turning out baby blankets (and a crochet bikini design I’ve dreamed up) to my heart’s content. I look forward to many more long nights of hookin’. Are you more swayed by knitting than crochet? Check out this beginner's knit kit from Cardigang. (Alannah Maher, Lifestyle Journalist)