Friday, November 2, 2012

"I Crochet So I Don't KILL People"

Last Wednesday my friend Lynn Lundgren, a member of the Lyric Opera Chorus and the crafting fairy godmother of the Opera, gave me a marvelous gift. She floated into the dressing room where I was working at the Opera House -- Lynn makes an entrance not unlike Glinda the Good Witch -- and presented me with a button that reads, "I crochet so I don't KILL people". Of course I immediately pinned it to my shirt. I now strike fear into the hearts of the supernumeraries of Lyric Opera Chicago when I don't have yarn in my hand!

But do I, in fact, crochet to stop me from breaking the Sixth Commandment? Not directly. Angry crocheting comes out uneven and wonky. Mistakes will be made. Knots will rear their ugly, snarled, little heads. And that will just add fuel to the fire -- I speak from experience. Also I like to put as much love into my crocheted goods as possible -- the people who wear them deserve all the love they can get!!

So why DO I crochet? I've been giving this some serious thought in the last week, since the advent in my life of Lynn's awesome pin. I've come up with several rather compelling reasons. Here they are, in no particular order. The repetitive motion and the counting make for my perfect form of moving meditation.  My breathing changes when I crochet. There's a beautiful letting go, which relaxes me and allows me to de-stress (thus the no killing). There are also wonderful people to crochet WITH! I crochet with opera singers, doctors, circus performers, interior designers, scientists, artists, athletes, U.S. servicemen, eleven-year-olds -- you name it! Would I be able to spend time with as diverse a crowd if we didn't share this one interest? Maybe not. It's also quite a conversation-starter on various forms of Chicago Public Transportation. So many people are intrigued by what I'm doing, and a lot of them ask me questions and tell me stories, mostly about their grandmothers. And then there's the yarn!! Yarn is so pleasing to multiple senses! I love the colors. I love the way yarn feels between my fingers. I love the way yarn smells.

I also love to design. I say that I hate it -- apparently I have a special sour face that I don when I'm designing a piece as I go (it was pointed out in two separate incidents in one night by friends who were watching me) -- and maybe the process of designing makes me a little nutso. But when I look at an item I've designed from a picture or replicated from an existing piece, there's no denying the sense of pride and accomplishment I feel.

I wear my pin proudly. It suits my personality. But now you know the real reasons that I crochet. And knowing is half the battle. That's all the news for now, darlings! Until next week, Peace, Love and Yarn!!

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