The need for a hobby has probably never been more apparent, with most of us confined to our homes for such an extended period of time. A hobby has multiple advantages, and I don’t count binge-watching on Netflix as a hobby because it is completely passive. These advantages were so apparent to me when I transitioned from a working professional to a full-time mom and homemaker – not the easiest time of my life. I was reflecting on how my hobby has helped me over the past several years and decided to pen it down. So, here’s why I crochet.
Visible progress with every single stitch
Everyone who does regular chores at home will tell you it’s almost like the work you do is invisible. The food gets eaten, the house gets messy again, the clothes are worn and have to be washed again, and the kids just grow up eventually. At the end of most days, I feel like I have nothing to show for all the work I did. With crochet, even if you do just a few stitches or one row in a day, you have visible progress. You have something to show for the time you spent on your hobby. That’s a huge boost and can provide a lot of encouragement.
Easy to set achievable goals
While it’s important to set ambitious goals, it’s even more important to set achievable goals. Crochet makes that very easy. You can finish a bookmark or a hairband or a simple coaster in less than an hour. And it’s a big shot in the arm to see that you’ve completed a task you set for yourself, and you have something pretty and useful at the end of it. This is especially true at times when you feel like you have mounds and mounds of work and nothing seems to be getting done.
No overhead in terms of context switches
Usually, when you switch from one task to another one, it takes a while to get your bearings and continue with the task from where you left off. In the computer science world, we call this a context switch overhead. For me, this is especially true when I have to pick up from where I left off while reading a book. I end up re-reading several pages to re-establish context.
For crochet, it’s only at the start of the project when you need to have uninterrupted time and a lot of focus and concentration. For most projects, and mostly only the big ones, this period is about an hour or so, till you get the sizing and counting of stitches done, and get into a rhythm. Thereafter, you can pick up from where you left off, without needing any time to get up to speed with the state of your task. This was a boon for me especially with little kids around the house, needing me for something every 5 minutes or so.
It’s a do-it-anywhere-and-anytime hobby
While the same can be said for reading too, the context switch overhead gives crochet the advantage :). I can crochet while sitting down with the kids for their homework, or playing a board game with them, or in the paediatrician’s waiting room, or while watching something on Netflix… you get the idea. Combine this with the fact that you have visible progress with every stitch, and I have the winning argument I need for my hobby.
It can be almost meditative
There are people who have mocked the non-intellectual and repetitive nature of crochet to my face. In my experience though, sitting down to crochet gives me time to get off my feet, and it gives me time to reflect. In these times when busy-ness is considered a virtue, I find that the value of having quiet time, to still your thoughts and calm your agitated mind, is highly under-appreciated. There have been many times when, while I’m crocheting, I’ve had more clarity about an issue I’m grappling with. As the muddied waters of my thoughts settle, solutions to problems become apparent. In this respect, I find it’s pretty close to meditation.
Any form of art is a win-win. The process is soothing, and you have something beautiful at the end of it. So in these particularly stressful times, I wish a hobby for everyone. Let the chores be left unfinished, and maybe plan a one-pot meal for the whole day, but spend some time on a hobby and give your mind a break. Your ability to deal with everything else will be the better for it.
Anusha Vishwanath is the mother of Daksh of Cool Cats and Vedant of Tireless Tadpoles.
Anusha did MCA in Pune University and worked with companies like Amazon and Trilogy Inc for 8 years before realizing that she wanted to do something different with her life. Since then, her two beautiful children have been her focus, and she has also discovered new passions like crocheting and healthy baking. She is now trying to teach the thread arts to interested youngsters- She believes that it is so important to spend some time away from screens, creating something with hands.