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At the age of eleven, I crocheted a piece of yarn into a yellow, lopsided hairband. After about a day’s worth of wearing, the elasticity of headband gave away and it became an oversized mess. Still, I wore it as a badge of honor. It is amazing how a blasé piece of yarn could be transferred into something intricate with a work of a needle. I have always been an avid crafter. When my peers were out playing and soaking in the Vitamin D, I was making greeting cards. I would make them for reasons as mundane as telling my mom I loved the green beans she made for dinner last night; I just needed an excuse to pull out the paper and glitter pens and start a project.
As time progressed, my projects grew from greeting cards to the blanket I crocheted last summer– it took three months and fifty granny squares. I have been lucky to have the time, the energy, and the resources to be artistic. My family has always encouraged my efforts, whether I am knitting a new hat or painting a woman. As my projects have evolved, I’ve come to realize that crafting things, useful or otherwise, is very much an important part of who I am. It allows me to employ my imagination, creativity, logic, and technical skills.
My projects are not made for the sake of making them. I feel a special connection to my family when I make things. I feel a connection to my grandmother when I use the crochet needle she gave me when I was twelve. I feel resourceful when I use the spare cork lying around the house to make coasters for the coffee table. Crafting for me is not just a hobby, not something I do when I am bored. It is a way to use my environment, to discover tools, and shortcuts, and new ways of looking at things. It’s a chance for me to use my head and my hands to make something practical, or fun. I don’t plan on majoring in anything craft-based. I don’t want it to be my career. I think a part of me is worried that I’ll lose my love of making things if I am forced to make it. I want it to stay a pastime, to stay a way for me to relax, enjoy myself, and cultivate a sense of independence.
I will never stop being a crafty person — I will always have a box of glitter pens, or a crochet needle, or a set of paint brushes nearby. I will always be the person who I am because I wore the yellow headband, a girl creating something new and great, entirely on my own.
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