I’m dreaming about crocheting. I woke up the other day and thought I actually had a crochet project that I was working on. This week, I went to the store and bought some lighter-colored yarn so I can see my knit stitches better. I looked at the knitting needles and thought about buying some, but I didn’t like their knitting needles. (I was at Wal-Mart. I think I need to make a trip to the city to Michael’s.) You know what is hanging right next to the knitting needles? Crochet hooks. I found myself picking up a package of crochet hooks and feeling tempted to buy them. Suzanne! Stop it! Step AWAY from the crochet hooks! I made myself put the crochet hooks back. I have finally learned to purl, but I am far from conquering knitting. If I pick up a crochet hook, it’ll be the end of me and knitting, I just know it.
Of course, I have all sorts of crochet hooks already in my ridiculously messy old sewing box. I don’t let myself pick those up, either.
My old sewing box is like a trip down my crafty memory lane. I used to do a lot of sewing.
I’ve made clothes, but I never enjoyed making clothes much. I loved making cute little things like decorations for the house, for holidays, even little toys, stuff for the kitchen.
The requisite pincushion (which, of course, I made).
I used to enjoy cross-stitch a lot. I also embroidered.
I really got into dollmaking for awhile and even sold them at a consignment shop.
Morgan opened my sewing box recently and thought this doll leg was really creepy.
Doll Interrupted. How many years ago was it that I was making this last doll? She lives in my sewing box, incomplete. Turned outside-in, her little doll arms stuffed up inside her body.
I loved this doll pattern. I always made the doll with a little gingham dress and matching bonnet edged with lace. I’d make a muslin pinafore to put over the dress. The hair was created out of yarn and plaited in pigtails. All put together, she was really cute, kind of a little prairie girl doll.
Her little outside-in face.
I turned her rightside-out, curious to see the features I embroidered so long ago.
Hmm. All flat and unstuffed and hairless, I think Morgan would say her head looks even creepier than her detached foot. But she really was cute with hair and a bonnet and stuffing!
And, you know, two feet…….
I dug further into the bowels of my sewing box and look, another foot!
Maybe I should put her together.
I can’t remember the last time I looked past the upper tray of my sewing box. For years, it’s been used for nothing but a quick grab for some needle and thread to repair something pronto. Or to nab some elastic for my goat photography. (I keep hats on Clover by attaching elastic bands to them.)
Here’s my hand-drawn doll pattern, the pieces clipped together.
I have another envelope full of other patterns, dolls and dressed-up animals, things I must have thought at the time I was going to make. I used to get a lot of free patterns out of magazines.
As much as I didn’t enjoy making clothes (real clothes), I did enjoy making doll clothes.
I’d have some of this cute stuff, but what I made, I sold on consignment. (Unbelievable. I didn’t even keep one finished doll.)
When did I stop doing all of this? Somewhere along the line, between being a mother and being a writer, I let all the rest go. No time, no energy, no creativity left over. I’m not a good artist, but I used to enjoy painting, too–primitive crafts-style painting. (I love primitive crafts because it can be bad and still be good because “primitive” doesn’t require perfection.) In the past several years, I’ve gradually begun a return to what I feel is, for me, a more full creative life, where writing is still an important creative outlet but not my only outlet. The more creative things I pick back up–along with new things–the more satisfied I feel in general, like a whole person instead of part of one. (I find baking and gardening to be very creative, too.) I think my dreams about crochet aren’t just about crochet, but about my creative self reawakening, stretching, and begging to be fed.
Or, you know, they are just about crochet and it’s because I can’t figure out how to bind off in knitting and I want to pick up a crochet hook. GIVE ME A CROCHET HOOK OR GIVE ME DEATH.
Now I’m just being dramatic. Do not let me pick up a crochet hook, whatever you do.