I play Neopets. You don’t need to know much about that for this story except it’s a virtual world with virtual creatures and virtual contests. I decided to enter one of those contests a month or so ago and spent two weeks in August creating my entry. (I went on to win a shiny virtual gold trophy but that isn’t a part of this story either.)
This is Dru. She is a Woodland Elf Usuki which is kind of like being a Woodland Elf Squirrel. She was my entry.
She was inspired by the original Woodland Elf Usuki here:
The contest was essentially to pick an Usuki like the one above and recreate with yarn.
My mom is extremely skilled when it comes to knitting and crocheting so I knew she could help me and, thanks to her tutelage, I also know how to crochet. (I can knit too but I don’t like to because I find crocheting easier to do and easier to read.) The problem? I had no pattern.
So for two weeks while Mom and I would sit watching TV, I would also sit working on Dru. The amazing thing was that it wasn’t hard. I made her entirely without a pattern only using single and double crochet stitches. I created the head and then I made the body and the hat. Instead of working from a pattern she became an exercise in geometry as I thought about how to make the shapes I needed to create this little creature.
The thing is, until I finished her I didn’t really think of myself as a crocheter. It was something I did, something I could do, but never a real skill because I never thought I was very good at it. But sometimes you really do learn by osmosis.
My mom starting teaching me to crochet when I was very little with the usual worsted weight yarn(this is thick yarn, the weight usually used to garments like hats and scarves and sweaters) and a large sized crochet hook. I can’t count the number of “scarves” (crocheted rectangles) I started and never finished because it was just never interesting to me.
Then a few years ago I was going through my mom’s old crochet pattern books and found one for bookmarks in size ten crochet cotton (this is the same thickness as embroidery floss, if you ever buy a crocheted doll or a lacy scarf–something with really thin yarn, that’s crochet cotton or at least the same weight of crochet cotton). And I knew: This was my project. These I could do.
So I crocheted bookmarks and angel dresses for clothespin dolls. When my mom was crocheting dolls and teddy bears I also made a doll and teddy bear. (Interestingly my mom adapted the patterns for her dolls and bears from existing patterns much in the way I made Dru “from scratch”.) But I had always been working from a pattern and just assumed anyone could do that and didn’t think much of it.
I still think with a little time that anyone can crochet but making Dru here also showed me that some skill is also involved–maybe more than I initially gave myself credit for.
This all sounds very self-congratulatory but I really just wanted to introduce you all to my lovely new friend here and remind all of you, dear readers, to remember to give yourself credit for your myriad talents. Maybe you also blog. Maybe you read critically. Maybe you bake like nobody’s business. Maybe you do something else that’s really cool. Just remember to own it and toot your own horn. Because no one can know how great you are if you don’t tell them every once in a while ;)