Often times, I bring my yarn items with me places. If I know I’m going to have some free time, it’s going with me.
If I’m going on vacation, yarn.
If I’m visiting someone and have a train ride, yarn.
If I’m going on a train, yarn.
If I’m going for a walk to the park, yarn.
And one time, I decided that I was to take my yarn with me on a train ride. And damn, did I love it.
Backstory, I am in college. I go to a school in the eastern “south” USA. I am proud. As a way of relaxing and passing time, I’d bring my yarn. What a time.
I love my yarn. I love feeling it, creating new things and learning new patterns/new stitches and seeing different products!
But above all, the craft itself is so relaxing. It’s my happy place. And I’m living for it.
So, I’m on the bus. I took the bus everywhere. To work, school, the store, etc. Wherever I needed to go, the buses were my crutch. Well, the days I went to work, the bus ride was a bit longer. About 40 minutes long, to be exact. So I’d bring my crochet with me.
I got so many things done.
The bus drivers probably thought me odd, but whatever. That’s not relevant.
I took the bus to work twice/three times a week so this gave me over an hour of me sitting idle, waiting for my stop to arrive. And one day, I found a fellow crocheter.
“You crochet too?” Her eyes lit up, like a cool sunset.
Her hair was slicked back, dyed black; you could tell, her eyebrows were brown but she used a black eyebrow pencil to fill them in. She was working on a blanket, and me, a scarf.
“I do indeed,” I smiled back, looking up. I was shocked anyone even addressed me, really. Nobody ever really did that, I blended into the bus and moved on.
“Right.” She smiled. “Whatcha working on?” Her smiled was crooked an her teeth, white like pearls, shone through her light pink lips.
I held up my little project, barely started. I was making a scarf for a friend, as it was almost winter and I could tell it was going to be a little more windy in the valley. “Oh a baby blanket.” I said, trying to get the lavender thin baby yarn to stay contained in my tote bag, which was seperate from my backpack on my back.
“That looks interesting. What stitch is that?” She cocked her heead to the side with her white, pale skin, her body indicating she was more interested in my work.
“Oh my yes it’s a double crochet and a single crochet, in that order in one stitch, skipping one stitch and repeating. And you always put the double crochet in the single crochet and vice versa in the the following lines. A very simple pattern.” She looked over, and complimented how textured but simple that was. She loved it.
“And what might you be working on?” I said, laughing a bit. “You’ve gotten pretty far on it, I’m impressed.” I chuckled a little. She was doing single crochets and those with any project take quite some time. Absolutely.
“Well, you see, there’s an old lady. She’s my grandmother. And she has all this yarn and she gives me the skeins and I whip up blankets out of them. I can make them as long as you buy the yarn, you know?” She nodded, and I nodded in confirmation. I personally charge for labor, but family discounts matter.
“But now” She goes on “All of her neighbors are asking me to do the same. And I have a hard time saying no.” She laughed a little, and held onto the side of the bus as it was rattling as we rode.
“Well, I hope that you get those done! I mean, when will you have time to make some for yourself?” I looked back down at my work, breifly, only to catch her eye.
She smiled, and gave me a side eye look. This is the look you get that either warms you, or worries you. It’s the kind that lets you know the other person sees you, but differently now. The eye that’s inquisitive and curious, but appreciative.
“You know, that’s exactly what I was thinking. But hey, I love it. And I do it for people I care about.” She looked back down, and I would have commented immediately but I could tell she was counting.
Never interrupt a crocheter counting, We will end you.
And as soon as I could tell she had ended and was in a groove, I spoke again.
“Well, of course. I’m over here making a scarf for a friend, yet all the ones I own are store bought. Hence…” I gesture down at my scarf, It’s fairly bulky, called a blanket scarf and it’s soft, and a dandelion golden yellow. It’s one of my favorites for the fall.
“Well, maybe one day we can change that.” She looked back down, and chained one. Starting a new row, ah yes.
And from then on, each day I rode the bus, she was there, heading to work. She always got off much earlier than I, but having a friend was..comforting.
But no, it didn’t stop there, oh no.
Soon, there was another person who crocheted and was interested in our conversation. They showed pictures and more ideas; their focus was doilies and lacework and they were STUNNING. I wish I had the skill.
Hopefully, in the fall, I can find time to volunteer at the homeless shelter and start a crochet class. This will give me the opportunity to share my skills and meet new people, as well as give something back with what I love.
So no, it doesn’t stop there. And it never should. Because at the end of the day, crocheting isn’t just a hobby. It’s a pastime, a lifetime, a gift giving ability and a way of life.
What do you craft for? Let me know in the comments.