When reading and writing are not enough… #MondayMusings

Growing up, I was focussed on just one thing and it was academics. I was good at all the subjects in school. Okay, not all because I was pathetic in P.E. and Art. There was nothing else considered as important as academics in my parents’ perspective and I was never encouraged to pursue a world, even as a hobby, outside the world of books. They had their reasons which I have understood all along.

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Image sources – Canva

As far as I can recall, there was 1 odd summer vacation, during the time I was in 9th Std, when I joined a hobby class to give company to a friend whose parents’ idea was “Padhai vadhai main kuch nahin rakha hai, silaai kadhai seekh lo.” It was in the same colony where we lived in and I used to cycle down to the class in the late hot afternoons. I did fabric painting. No matter how I fared at fabric painting, I enjoyed it. It never went anywhere from there after the holidays ended because the studies never gave enough time after the school reopened.

My brother was talented in drawing and painting however I was not at anything obvious except for sitting silently with a children’s magazine. Candidly speaking, it was fine for me to live in a space like that with no particular skill. The thought ‘I love to read and can write’ was enough for me to feel proud of.

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Image source – Canva

All was nice until I landed in the blogosphere and came to know the lives of bloggers closely. Here, almost everyone was good at reading and writing. In fact, they were far far better than me and yet it was only a small part of who they were unlike me. They had multi-faceted interests. They happened to be good at sketching, cooking, organising, crafting, painting, pickling, tarot card reading and what not. Admittedly, these inspiring bloggers opened up an altogether new horizon for me making me realise I was living in a myopic world. Really! I have come to gather such various activities are akin to creative windows and the importance of having these windows in one’s life. Therefore, when Corinne puts up a post of homemade pickled mangoes or when Shilpa Halwe shares her doodling and sketching or when Rajlakshmi shares her soap making post, I know the possibilities are vast.

With this newly dawned wisdom, I have taken to dabbling in crocheting.

The thought struck me a day before my birthday while I was browsing books (colouring books) in a shop. None of the colouring books were interesting or anything close to the one I already have, the one I have used as my go-to therapy in the past months. While browsing through the aisle, a crochet book laden with beautiful and inviting pictures of crochet craft works caught my fancy. I bought it and spent the next 15 days dreaming about all the stuff I would be creating with the power of the crochet hook. It was also the time the tamed negative voice in my head kept telling me, “You have not been good at knitting. You were a failure at it. You do not even know the basics of crocheting. Are you sure it is not one of your kind of quirks which will vanish the moment you spend considerable money on collecting resources?” I did not fight the voice, did not see the point in it. The whole idea was to work on mindfulness.

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Image sources – Canva

On 1st July, 15 days later, I bought my first set of yarn and an appropriate hook. I turned to YouTube tutorials for crocheting lessons.  Initially, it was a challenge understanding from the YouTube videos how to make the slip knot and the chain stitch. When I got this right in 2 days time, I graduated to make a square of double crochet stitches. For the next 7 days, I practiced the square but each time I ended up with a triangle because I either lost or missed the corner stitches. I learned from my repeated mistakes and then got the square right after which seemed like a lot of triangles. 

When I shared the pictures of my progress with my family, they were curious to know when was I going to make a sweater or a cap. A few of the friends, I shared my progress with, encouragingly asked about my crochet project. Although I had taken up this hobby with the intent of practicing mindfulness, I deemed it to be interesting to start making Granny Squares, actually lots of them and then finally sew them together to make a blanket or a table runner or something like that. It took me 3 days or 3-4 hours in total to get my first square right.

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My first granny squares and round coasters posing as flowers here.

Today is 29th July and I am happy with myself to have considered crocheting. It feels like this time is the right time. I have crocheted every single day in July spending a minimum of 1 hour each day. Since last Friday, I have been up to something, my first project about which I cannot wait to tell but since it is a surprise gift for a dear one hence I will stay hushed. A request to my friends who are aware of what it is to not share it or talk about it in the comment section as yet.

On a closing note, thank you to all you wonderful people for inspiring me.

Linking this post with #MondayMusings hosted by Corinne Rodrigues

#Monday Musings

 

 

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17 comments

  1. First of all, thanks for the mention, Anu!
    Now, I loved your crochet work right since you began sharing it on SM. Those granny squares are just too pretty, and yes, that idea of stitching all the squares together to get a quilt is just perfect. BTW, what’s that secret project? Can’t wait to see what you come up with! ❤
    Keep going, dear girl!

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  2. Reading this post made me smile, Anamika. I am so so happy for you. To see my friend developing an interest in something which she deemed out of her talent and to learn that not only is she actually getting better at it with perseverance and patience, but she is also past her reservations from keeping this talent hidden from the world, means a lot me. You are a perfect example for ‘inspire yourself to inspire others’, Anamika. I feel deeply happy today. ❤️❤️

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  3. This is such a vibrant post filled with inspiration and positivity. Your crochet work is awesome and to learn from YouTube is even more so. Wish I could be creative and patient enough to stay focussed on learning a new craft, maybe someday soon.

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  4. Love that crochet work that you shared. My mum was so good at silai kadhai as you mentioned, including crochet and knitting. Sadly, I never showed any interest in it. I guess all of us were encouraged to only study at least in school. But I did cultivate a lot of interests through college. And now I have discovered so many facets to myself through all the activities that I do along with a job. Keep pushing and keep trying. This is the best phase in your life. You will see.

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  5. You deserve a standing ovation for stepping out and doing this Anamika. I loved those coasters and the squares. Crocheting always awed me. It seems so complicated. May I say your post inspired me to do something too? Unlike you I was interested in a million things during my college days – not good at many things but definitely interested. I learnt fabric painting, tie and die, batik, and of course cross stitch and lots of crafting. Over the last few years I’ve lost interest in most things. You made me want to dig up my old loves.

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  6. Thats amazing Crochet work Anamika. I get what you mean. But I must confess, I aint good at any skill.. I cook basic food for the family everyday, simple crafts for kiddos school and hardly any creative work. The only passion that stays within me is to read and write. And I just do that 🙂
    Appreciate your step towards creativity Anamika

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  7. Crochet is fun. It is faster than knitting and you can do so many things with it, though I knit more than I crochet. In fact just last week, my mom who is 80 and still very active was talking about us starting a crochet and knitting club where we can teach anyone who wants to learn. It is something that is definitely in the pipeline in the near future

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  8. Woa!! and just like that you created these beautiful crochet coasters. These are lovely. It shows what one can achieve when they put their heart and mind to it. I can’t wait to find out what you created for your husband. Thank you so much for the mention. 😊

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  9. These coasters look so fab! I love crocheting too, but I have lost touch since a while now. Growing up we were only expected to focus on academia too in the hopes of getting a high paying job someday. But art and passion feeds the soul in my opinion and is as vital as academics!

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  10. I love the crochet work you are doing. I know what you mean when you talk about academia to be the only focus while growing up. And like you, I understand our parents’ reason for that. But it’s never too late to try something. And I can see you are doing so well. I would love to see the blanket or throw that you make. The colours, the skill, I think you will do well in it, Anamika 🙂

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  11. Lovely Anu!! I saw them on Insta and liked it then and there. I get the triangles you’ve told, I could hardly put my first knot for days together after seeing youtube videos. Your work is lovely and I am sure you’ll be updating these in Insta and I will be happy to see them.

    I had my first experience in crocheting before a couple of years and I crocheted a rectangle to make a purse. My aunt taught me to make the slip knot, she passed away last year, but I remember how beautifully and patiently she taught me to work on my first project. I completed the rectangle, but didn’t know how to connect it with a zip. So I just look at it now and then, but never pursued it after that.

    Truth be told, you are right about the multi-faceted lovely people we meet on SM. I am surprised and I love how beautifully Shilpa, Soumya and a few of my personal friends draw. I go mad seeing the beauty in it, I could only color, but not draw! SM has opened up hobbies like no other. It is lovely to watch people share their lovely work online and inspired so many of us to do take up something.

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  12. Amazing. I also took up zentangle from Shilpa. Few bloggers are indeed so inspiring. Anamika, I also used to enjoy your adult coloring. You were good at that as well. Am waiting to see the baby blanket. Keep it up, girl.

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  13. The crochet work has turned out fabulously Anamika. Everyone is born with a creative streak…… with time we bury it deep, Its good that some realize it, some work on it and in the end it has ripple effect on soulful happiness. Hope to see the blanket soon 🙂

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  14. This is so awesome, Anamika. I really admire you sticking with it even through all the initial challenges. Because like you said, it is easy to start something, but challenging to see the project through, especially once the initial enthusiasm wears out.

    And even though I am not even the least bit crafts-y and only have a very basic understanding of such things, I have to tell you, those granny squares are adorable!! I am curious about your secret project now!

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  15. Wow! Those are some amazing and perfect crochet coasters. So happy for you, glad that you explored a new hobby and mastered it as well, despite the challenges. Great going, Anamika. Looking forward to more crochet projects from you!!
    I am not arty crafty types, but I learnt knitting during school days. As an adult, I did some zentangling and coloring for a while.

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  16. Good on your for pursuing a new hobby and going well with it! The crochet looks great! I can’t sew to save my life and I did try knitting and crochet at school because we had needlework but for some reason couldn’t do it! It’s sad isn’t it how sometimes as kids we were taught to mainly focus on studies regardless of everything else. I really wish I had learnt to play a sport. My parents made me learn singing but I don’t enjoy that. Fortunately, I do have a lot of hobbies other than reading and writing. The blogosphere is a great space to get insight into people’s lives! 🙂

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