The All Time Best Way to Spend Your Time. . .
According to the Craft Yarn Council of America there are over 50 million people of all ages who crochet or otherwise work with yarn.  And it’s no wonder.  It’s not just the destination of getting an afghan, scarf or sweater made; the journey is full of benefits.  Crocheting is a great anxiety buster, offers something productive to do and can be a social outlet when done with a group.  Want to Join in?

Who's Doing It?
Everyone!  Young, old and in between!  Let’s just say that the image of gray hair and rocking chairs has been replaced by tattoos and pink hair.  Okay, maybe not everyone has pink hair, but today's crocheter is young (no matter how old, we’re young at heart!), hip and through various electronic devises virtually connected to other fiber enthusiasts.  And it’s definitely not just for the ladies.  In fact some of today’s top designers are men!

What's Next?
I think that we’re at something of a crochet crossroads.  Historically we’ve seen that what we make and how much time we spend making it has been influenced by what’s going on in the world.  Given our current climate, history would dictate that we’re making utilitarian projects and not spending a lot of time enjoying the leisure arts.  But that’s not what we’re doing.  Sure, we’re making (pretty, colorful) things you can use, but we’ve discovered that crochet is a great way to relax and unwind.  Our lives our hectic and busy, we’ve got lots to do, and our resources are limited.  We’ve learned that we have to take care of ourselves and that we need economical outlets that help us to decompress when dealing with tough situations.  Crochet fits the bill perfectly.  For a minimal investment you can purchase several balls of yarn and a set of hooks that will keep you stitching for months!  It’s portable, easy to learn, and convenient.  There’s also the added bonus of the on-line crochet community.  Not only can you find groups dedicated to crochet on social networks like Face book, Pinterest, and Google, we have our very own network in Ravelry!  It’s like the modern version of the quilting bee where like-minded fiber enthusiast get together to share friendship, tips and encouragement!

Getting Started
It’s great if you have a friend or family member to teach you, but if not, there are a lot of other options.  Check out your local yarn store.  Some of the craft stores like Michael’s or Jo-Ann’s offer group lessons.  Try your local community college.  Believe it or not even our local colleges are now offering yarn craft classes as part of their extension programs.  Your local library is another spot to check out.  Many have groups that welcome sharing their skills and experience with new members.

If you’re more of a do it yourselfer, it is also very possible to learn on your own.  There are numerous books on the market with step by step instructions for many stitches, and with our technology today we have access to millions of great tutorials via the internet.

The Beauty of Handmade
Every crochet item has its own story.  The experience of picking the yarn, making the project and what was going on in your life are all woven into the stitches.  Remember that what makes handmade items special is they look like real hands made them.  That means there might be a wiggly stitch here and there, but just look at it as part of the tale.

Are you inspired?
Are you ready to grab your hook and get started creating something exciting?  If you’re worried that it’s too hard or too small, don’t be.  The stitches and techniques are the same whether you make them with yarn or thread.  Yes it does take some time to get your tension right and to feel comfortable with the hook.  But, with a few helpful hints and a little practice you’ll be amazed at what you can do!

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this look at the evolution of crochet.  We are the new generation and it’s up to us to carry on the traditions while continuing to expand our craft.  We have the opportunity to make our mark on history by ensuring that the designs we create today are available to the crocheters of tomorrow.

What kind of fun crochet projects will you make this spring to share with us?  If you haven’t decided what to work on yet – don’t be afraid to try one of our pictorial afghan patterns. Once you make one you’ll be hooked like the rest of us.

We would love to hear from you. Comment and let us know if you have any questions or just drop us a line to say hello. Your opinion means the world to us and we will use your feedback to create some new amazing projects that we can share with you.

Thanks for dropping by today