Last Monday I wrote about how I learned to crochet. This week I want to try to explain how I went from being a complacent college kid who knew how to crochet to really being a crocheter. I suppose I should start by giving my definition of crocheter, to me a a crocheter is more than merely someone who knows how to crochet; a crocheter is someone who is at least proficient at the craft of crochet but more important than ability level, in my mind, is that a crocheter is someone who loves crochet who wants to crochet often or always someone who wants to learn of and how to execute many different facets of the craft. For example my mother who taught me how to crochet, really doesn`t like to crochet, she much prefers cross-stitching or embroidery, and while she always listens politely I am quite certain that the discussions of intricate construction details or of how this or that fiber behaves in x circumstance are not particularly interesting to her. My mother is a person who crochets, but has never really become a crocheter.
I want to tell you a story, a story that may seem like it has nothing to do with crochet but if you bear with me, I think it may help me to illustrate how I became a crocheter. When I was six years old I learned to read. I remember the even quite clearly even though it was over twenty years ago. It was the summer of 1992 just before I began first grade. I don`t know the exact date, but I know that it was in either the end of July or the beginning of August. On a hot stuffy summer evening, in a tiny village in southern Iowa, my sisters and I were lounging about in our bedroom which was actually two adjoining rooms that took up most of the top floor of the old farmhouse we were renting. I had been pestering my 9 year old sister to read The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle to me for about the millionth time that day. She was doing something else and was thoroughly bored of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and so she told me to go read it myself. I whined I was certain I couldn't read it by myself but she insisted and so I did. I probably sulked awhile but when i opened the book I found I could read it. Every word made sense to me. (It probably helped that I probably had it memorized from our million previous readings) But at that instant something clicked in my mind and I could read. Shortly after that I got my very own library card, and since the library was only a block from our house I spent nearly every after noon for the next 8 or so years there. For me reading opened up the world. I loved reading. I loved the stories, the adventures and the things I could learn. I wasn't just a person who could read--I was a bibliophile.
I tell this story, because for me becoming a crocheter was much the same way. After I graduated college I married my husband and moved with him to Quebec. I had come on a visitor`s visa and was waiting for my permanent residency card and work permit, so I had tons of free time. I was also suffering from culture shock. I had visited a few times and didn`t think I would have trouble adjusting, but there were many things that surprised and confused me. I think for me the culture shock was all the worse because it was so unexpected. My husband worked long hours and I was alone at home. I had a small box of various mystery acrylics and I began to fill my time with crocheting small things. Before long crocheting had become much more than something to fill my time, I thought about it all the time, sometimes even in my dreams. I imagined how one would crochet different things, and I began exploring different facets of crochet. I was like a teenage girl who had just began a new crush, and I fell fast and hard.