Keeping a Crochet Journal
inA crochet journal can expand your crochet experience in many ways. At a practical level, the journal provides a single, simple location for tracking your projects. Beyond that, it can help you better identify ways to improve your life through crochet and creativity.
ABOVE: Photo by David Schwarzenberg from Pixabay.
Picking a Crochet Journal
I keep a simple lined notebook that is large enough to write in daily but small enough to carry in a purse. Other options include a blank journal, loose-leaf paper in a binder, and typewritten files on a computer. If you use a physical journal, you can embellish the cover with photographs or crochet. It’s your journal; do what you like to make it special.
Filling a Crochet Journal
Once you have your journal in hand, start filling it! Here are some ways to start:
- Track the details of each project, including pattern names and materials used, so that you can re-create old projects or identify a work in progress you find languishing behind the couch.
- If the project is for a gift or a charity, include the name of its recipient in your crochet journal. Write about what that person or charity means to you. Also, if you’re giving the project away, take a picture first and tape it in your journal.
- Write about how you feel when you are working on the project.
- Examine any changing feelings about your crafting. This can help you select the right project for your needs at any given time. Sometimes a fiddly project can help you regain focus. Other times, you might need a giant swath of single crochet ripples for pure relaxation.
- Make lists: Techniques to try, yarn to use, places to buy supplies, goals you have for your crochet work.
- Brainstorm and imagine. Sketch, doodle, diagram. This is a great time to use all those colored pencils you got for meditative coloring in your crochet journal.
- Sketch a project you are working on and test out different colorways. (Yay! Colored pencils again!)
- If something in your crochet is frustrating, write about it. It might be the technique, the colors, or just the fact that now is not the right time to pursue that project.
- Tell yourself how great you are. You did a big, awesome project with just a ball of string and a hook!
- Write down stories. Trace your craft lineage, for example, asking the people in your family if they know about family members who crocheted or if they have any crochet items in the home that have meaning for them. Explore your own connections to the past through your crochet journal.
Make the Journal a Habit
Through writing about crochet, even just the physical details of a project, you will deepen your understanding of your own creative impulses and habits, leading you to cultivate a stronger sense of self. Sounds deep, yes? It’s true. The best way to make this happen is to use the crochet journal regularly. Choose the frequency that makes sense in your life, and be vigilant about keeping this creative date with yourself. Here are some frequency options:
- At the beginning and ending of every new crochet project.
- Right before or right after each time you crochet.
- Once a month (such as on the first day of the month).
- Once a week on a specific day (such as every Saturday morning, over a nice latte).
- Every day, perhaps each evening.
“But I’m Not a Journal Person”
Don’t worry if you’re not normally a journal-keeper or don’t consider yourself a great writer. The crochet journal can be useful for everyone. Set aside skepticism and try it. The point is to have a way to go beyond picking up yarn and a hook and really explore what crochet is all about for you on different levels.
Yours in stitches,
KATHRYN VERCILLO is the author of Crochet Saved My Life and Hook to Heal! 100 Crochet Exercises for Health, Growth, Connection, Inspiration and Honoring Your Inner Artist. You can find her online at www.crochetconcupiscence.com and www.kathrynvercillo.com.
This article originally appeared in Interweave Crochet Summer 2016.