One aspect of crochet that I was unaware of when I first sought to learn the craft is the sense of community it creates with others.
On the occasions I have crocheted “in public” (as it is known), I have met a variety of people who ask questions about my project or share their crochet adventures, or those of their mothers, grandmothers, and aunts.
I have learned from these encounters that crochet can be the thread that joins one generation to another and one person to another.
Sometimes, it will have a direct line of descent passed down from grandmother, to mother, to daughter.
Other times, it is like an obscure genetic condition that skips a generation going directly from grandparent to grandchild.
Still other times, it spreads like a viral contagion from one neighbor to another.
One thing all these modes of transmission have in common is that crochet serves to build a community and create like interests among people who otherwise might not have something in common.
One place to meet people online with a similar craft interest is Ravelry.com, a large (and as of November 13 of this year, one million members strong) fiber community of knitters, crocheters, and spinners.
Ravelry is an easy to use web 2.0 community, where you can join a group that explores an interest you already have or join a group that explores an interest you’d like to learn more about. The interests of the many groups are quite varied (ranging from Farmville to Gustav Klimt), but if you find that no group exists for a topic that interests you, you can (if you follow the community guidelines) create one.
In addition to online crochet communities like Ravelry, there are also guilds and meet-ups where you can be with other people who speak your same craft language and understand your interest. This afternoon, I attended the monthly meeting of “Off the Hook,” a newly formed CGOA (Crochet Guild of America) Chapter to which I belong. It is always a joy to attend because everyone at the meeting loves crochet.
Ultimately, I think that crafting in general, and for me, crochet specifically, is an opportunity to share the best part of ourselves with others.