With a strong streak of nerd and an affinity for crochet Tracey started up Mostly nerdy crochet. Sheâ€™s happy to be hooking and often finds it an interesting challenge to use whatâ€™s on hand for her next project.
It took getting married, being unemployed, and being 1,500 miles from home for me to pick up my hooks and start crocheting. I learned the basics when I was ten, but apparently I had to be lonely and lost before Iâ€™d pick it back up.
Of course the first project I started was the dreaded granny square blanket (well, granny hexagon). Two years later Iâ€™m still not actually finished with it, but Iâ€™ve accomplished a few other things instead.
Mostly nerdy crochet was the product of my own impatience. For some reason Iâ€™m great at amigurumi and only ever followed a pattern once. By the second time I was convinced I could improve the pattern (which I did) and after that I just never bothered to follow anything! I wrote my own patterns for a while (some of which can be found at Ravelry) but I hate trying to follow them again to test the designs.
When I decide to turn a character into an amigurumi I start to collect dozens of pictures of them from every angle. Once Iâ€™ve managed to compile enough to create a 3D image in my head I start crocheting. Itâ€™s really basic; you add stitches to make it wider and decrease to make it thinner and thatâ€™s about it. Each character can be broken down into a series of shapes (most often cylinders and ovals) and then attached together. However, the crochet is only half the battle! Iâ€™ve found that if you want something to look right itâ€™s all in the details. Faces are especially important and require a lot of attention, which isnâ€™t too hard as long as youâ€™re willing to play around with embroidery and felt.
As for the yarn that I use Iâ€™ll take anything. You hear about people being super green and buying recycled yarn or locally spun yarn or yarn made out of dead leaves for all I know. Iâ€™m not quite that diligent. I think Iâ€™ve bought maybe four skeins of yarn at retail stores in the two years that Iâ€™ve been regularly crocheting. I buy yarn at garage sales and thrift stores and I think that definitely qualifies as reusing. Itâ€™s about as green as an unemployed thrift store volunteer can get.
Crochet means a lot more to me than just playing with yarn. I started to rely on crochet as a means of comfort after our last move. I have some anxiety issues and use crochet to keep my hands busy and my mind calm. The biggest reason I stopped following patterns was because it required too much concentration! I like to use crochet as a relaxing distraction, so typically I put on a movie and start hooking. Recently Iâ€™ve been trying to exercise my patience by using a visual diagram for a non amigurumi project instead of a written version. Something about looking at pretty pictures makes it easier to watch a movie, crochet, and keep track of my stitches.
Someday in the future I really want to own my own sheep, sheer them, and spin my own yarn. Actually, my sister will keep the sheep for me. She wants to have a small family farm and will use them to make cheese and keep the grass down. Iâ€™ll use them for the wool. Iâ€™ll learn to dye it myself and sell it somewhere neatâ€¦ or maybe just next to my sisterâ€™s cheese. I can dream, canâ€™t I?
Special thanks to whipup.net and all the readers for being constantly supportive of crafters everywhere.