Love your blog challenge: Interactions and community

A Playful Day

Hello everyone, hope you had a lovely Easter weekend. Mine is still going actually since I don’t go back to work until tomorrow thankfully. It has been a weekend of relaxing, crochet, sun and a lot of cleaning and organising around the flat. I had a long list of things I wanted to do this weekend and one of them was to join the “Love your blog challenge” organised by A Playful Day.

I have been thinking lately that I need to have a serious think about what I want for this space since it is time to define it a bit better. I started this blog as a personal challenge but I think it has evolved a lot since then and I really need to find a purpose for it to keep me motivated. I thought this challenge would be a good way to start: the idea is to get inspired with your blog again by writing a post around a topic each week, and the first one is “Interactions and community”. Once you post it you can share it with others doing the same and see what everyone else is doing.

As preparation for this post I have been brainstorming in my little notebook and I wrote down (mostly) questions, such as:

  • What inspires me about this community?
  • How do I take part?
  • What makes us a community?
  • Knitting community versus crochet community?
  • How and what do I want this blog to contribute to this community?

After this I was blank for days. It is crazy that when you actually have the time to be inspired and creative nothing actually comes to you, but when you are very busy doing other things then everything starts flowing again. After chewing these questions and concepts over for a while I kept coming back to the same idea: sharing. All our interactions, our community and even our inspiration are based on the basic act of sharing between us.

We share our love for what we do, our love of sheep, yarn, patterns and everything in between. We share our frustrations and our achievements, we share our knowledge regardless of its size or limits. We share compliments and advice, tools and colours. We love to share and we also love to receive it.

And we share all of this to anyone else who understands how much a skein of yarn or a project can bright up your day, we don’t need to know more. There are no skills or tests required to be part of this community, it doesn’t matter what you do for a living, where you live or how long you have been crocheting, knitting, weaving or whatever fibre craft you do. You just need to want to take part.

I have spent much time lately thinking about the boundaries of the fibre community to try to understand how crocheters like me fit in a community that is knitting-centered and I still don’t have the answer for it. I have said before that sometimes it feels like unless you knit you won’t really be part of it. That unless I actually grab a pair of needles I will continue to listen to podcasts with many things I don’t understand and I will continue to realise how the options available to take part in this community reduce significantly when you don’t knit, festivals and workshops being an example of this (and knitting groups the exception). I know I am a part of the fibre community, but it does feel like I am on the outside looking in sometimes.

What I realised though is that at the core we are a community of people who love to share, that is what makes it so amazing, inspiring and open. No one has ever not shared advice, excitement, compliments or anything else with me because I am a crocheter, and nor have I not shared with someone because they knit. In a world where everything is a commodity, fibre people are walking to a different tune by simply sharing out of love. Even those who are trying to make profit out of their craft are sharing their skills and talent from the heart. In that sense, there is not a crochet and a knitting community but a sharing fibre community filled with amazing people who share their passion for yarn in all its states and forms, and our amazement at what it can turn into regardless of the tools we use. It doesn’t answer my question, but it definitely helps. It also explains why even though I don’t knit I still enjoy all those knitting podcasts 🙂

I can also say for sure that I want my blog to contribute to this sharing community. Most of all, I want to share with the world the amazing things that crochet can do, and that it can be as fashionable and stylish as  knitting. And if time allows, I want to continue to design patterns that push those boundaries a bit and make people want to learn what you can do with hook and yarn. Just like everyone else in this community I want to share what I love with everyone willing to listen.

I leave you with a picture that I think really says something about our interactions as a community. This is my fridge and the postcard you can see at the bottom is one I just received from a fellow crocheter who was on holiday in Spain. We met on Ravelry a few weeks ago and she kindly offered to send me one while she was away. I think I should probably correct my earlier statement: we are a community who loves to share, and to bring happiness to others. It’s the little things people, the little things.

IMG_0761

x

Sol

PS Thanks Laura! 🙂

 

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23 thoughts on “Love your blog challenge: Interactions and community

  1. Pressed post too early on my last comment! I wonder if being in a “minority” craft in the yarn world makes crocheters more open to knitting-based interaction? Makes me think I should be more open to exploring the beauty of crochet.

    1. Hello! Thank you for your nice comment 🙂 I think as crocheters we have to be open to understand knitting and knitters a bit more since it is what you can find more easily in this community. I admire knitters greatly and maybe one day I will learn how to work those needles but so far I am a crocheter only and hope that all crafts can learn from each other. I really liked your post for the challenge, it is fun to see what everyone is doing!

  2. I see the crochet community beginning to grow. As a dual crafter I guess I don’t always notice how little there is that is just crochet but I think its a growing and maturing audience. We only just found each other and I think in terms of crochet I am still busy finding my tribe.
    Our tribe of crocheters like to make complex projects as well as the odd quick fix. We know crochet can look amazing as garments. We buy nice yarn for special projects. We experiment with the stitches and explore how they work. We will all find each other over time and it will be amazing when we do!

    1. I agree, crocheters are definitely out there! And we are doing not only beautiful granny blankets but also awesome garments that we love to wear and we have designers like yourself to thank for keeping us inspired. I just felt like if I were to write about “community” then I couldn’t write form the heart unless I mentioned some of these topics, but we will get there, crocheters to rule the world one day hahaha
      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  3. Such interesting comments, Solen! I have enjoyed reading your blog as it gives thought to the process. I am a crochet teacher at two yarn stores and know all about the minority. What I do find is admiration on both sides. That is good. What is slowly developing is availablity of patterns and tools. Yes, we are still greatly outnumbered, but our ranks are growing! Thanks in no small part to creative individuals like yourself…and so many others. Without the online community I would still be stuck crocheting from the same two books from the local library that I started on! So glad for the blogs, pattern designers and wonderful, encrouaging project pictures from around the world! I rarely find myself making the same time twice because there is always something new around the corner😀. Blessings to you for your work!

    1. Hi Cyndy,

      You are totally right, my crochet skills wouldn’t be what they are right now without this online community either. From patterns on Ravelry to You Tube videos, I have learned so much about this craft. Thank you for your kind comment about my work, I definitely try to do my part and hopefully inspire others as I have been inspired.

  4. I’m a dual crafter, and proud to be so! Standing on the outside looking in can be an amazing experience, there’s so much inspiration to be gained from other crafts and so much to be learnt. Celebrate and embrace the differences, after all both crafts use sticks and string!

    1. Hi Claire,

      I agree, knitters and crocheters definitely have more in common than the things that tell us apart! I truly admire knitters and their amazing projects and I know that one day I will probably be a dual crafter like yourself. Which skill did you pick up first? I have heard going from crochet to knitting is a bit harder to get used to than the other way around, I would love to know your opinion.

  5. Heh, I think I know the person who sent you that postcard – she’s part of my local crafting community!

    I can crochet, but haven’t done much, and I really ought to do more…

    1. Hahaha small world isn’t it? I really encourage you to do some more crochet, and if you know Laura she might be the perfect person to help if you have any questions!

  6. Fascinating post. I’m mostly a ‘knitter’ but as I have followed the likes of “Wink”, Joanne Scrace and Kat Goldin since the early days of my crafting, I haven’t really had the perception of “us and them”…. Until today while reading these posts – you are not the only one to. Enticing this perception. It has certainly made me rethink some of my forthcoming plans for my own blog, in order to be more inclusive. Thank you!

    1. Hi Sarah,

      I don’t want to make too much fuss about it, it is not much the case of us and them but of crochet being a bit more in the background sometimes. I am so glad to know that I am not the only one that thinks that and that other bloggers like yourself will start looking at crochet in a different light. All I want is for more people to see the amazing things you can create with yarn and hook, more and more modern crochet patterns are starting to appear that I think would inspire more people to get interested in this craft. I look forward to see more people talking about crochet!

  7. I think one of the problems is that the crochet patterns are behind knitting patterns in terms of design and wearability. However I belong to a craft group where several members have been converted to crochet and find it much quicker than knitting! btw we meet in Berts Bar William St mondays 6-8pm http://www.grannygreens.co.uk (we’re named after the granny greens steps where we first used to meet – our age range is much wider!)

    1. It is very true that crochet is a bit behind but I believe we are finally starting to catch up and lately there have been some beautiful designs published. I will start a section in my blog with patterns that had caught my eye and hopefully help others who are looking for a more modern aesthetic in their crochet as well.
      I saw your website quickly (at work right now) and those craft nights look very fun! My knit club is on Mondays but I will have to skip it one day to go check out your group 🙂 does it include many crafts?

      1. yes! we have knitters, crocheters, patchworkers, cross stitchers and last week Sarah brought her spinning wheel and drop spindle and we spun in the pub!! Are you a ginger twister that the Safari Lounge? I’ve been toying with trying to arrange a crafty brunch or something between our two groups….

      2. Wow! That sounds lovely 🙂 I do go to the knit club in Safari Lounge, I think a crafty get together would be a great idea! My email is acrochetjourney@gmail.com, could you please drop me a line to know how to contact you and we’ll arrange something 🙂 Thanks for getting in touch!

  8. Thank you for sharing your wonderful, thoughtful words 🙂 I’ve been reading Laura’s blog (Made in Oxford) and she crochets as well. It’s really changed the way I see crochet. When I first started with yarn, I did start with crochet and I really, really struggled to get the hang of it. I gave up in fact. Years later I tried knitting and found something I could get the hang of. Since knitting for a while, I picked up the crochet hook again a few times and have found it easier than before. I think crochet was the gateway for me into the fiber world and I’m grateful that I can now do it without wanting to fling things across the room. Mainly what I’m saying is that I appreciate your perspective and have been inspired to pick up the hook again thanks to you guys 🙂
    Speaking of podcasts, maybe you and Laura should start one up? I’d definitely tune in just to learn more 🙂

    1. It is so interesting to hear how we all started to work on fibre crafts, what was easier for each person at the beginning. For me crochet always made so much more sense than knitting hahaha I am determined to try it out soon but would have to be continental knitting or I think I would also be throwing things across the room! Laura is an awesome crocheter and I am so glad to hear that you and other are starting to pick up their hooks, just know that there are quite a few crocheters around to help if you ever needed it.

      About that podcast idea, all I will say is that I have heard rumours of a new crochet podcast in the making 🙂

  9. I completely agree about this community being so open and friendly. I find that knitting is a lot more active than crochet (I do both) but that may just be a reflection of who/what I follow. I think part of my joy in the craft is the community 🙂

    1. Hi Nikki,
      The community brings quite a lot to it, it is a sense of belonging that many of us that get in other places and it gives me such joy 🙂 I think knitters are definitely in their moment right now but hopefully crochet will start catching up soon. Thanks for stopping by!

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