To Crochet or Not Crochet: A Story of Crocheting in Public

If you’ve ever had doubts about crocheting in public…

Let me set the scene. I’m in the waiting room of a doctor’s office, waiting for my mom’s appointment to finish. Since it’s a chiropractic office, I’m one of the youngest there. Patients come and go: a middle aged lady with sparkly flip flops, an older gentleman typing away at his phone, an older lady in running shoes that you’d expect to see at a gym, a gentleman with a veterans hat on…

And then there’s me. Beside me sits a half-used skein of Caron Simply Soft in a lovely shade of green. My right hand waves my hook back and forth as my left hand keeps steady tension on the yarn. I’m making a case for Mom’s sunglasses; they belong in Dad’s truck, but it’s not always the cleanest. A soft case might be a smart idea so the lens don’t get scratched by the clutter. 😉

I smile to myself as I feel the occasional glance my way. Eventually, the man on his phone pipes up.

“I really need to pick that up. It would be so relaxing to sit and make things with my hands.”

The lady a few seats over nods her agreement. “I keep saying the same thing. You know, my great aunt still crochets even though she’s 98. It keeps her busy, and she makes some amazing things.”

At this, I join the conversation and tell about my great-grandmother. “She’s in her late 90’s,” I explain, “so she can’t crochet much anymore. But when she stopped she sent me tons of her leftover yarn and supplies.”

“My daughter crochets too,” the man continues, to which I inwardly rejoice that he didn’t call it knit. “We always know what to get her for Christmas! Last year, she made hats for all the grandkids. And if you think that’s not a big deal, there’s fourteen grandkids!”

The man and woman swap stories about crochet and families while I sit there with a smile, still making progress on the glasses case.

Eventually, the lady heads back for her appointment, and the man returns to his phone. A moment later, he holds his phone out to me.

“See, this is the crew.”

I look at the beautiful picture of his fourteen adorable grandkids and gush over them, much to his delight.

“Seven girls and seven boys! The oldest is 15, and he has a younger brother that just turned six months. My daughter also makes baby blankets for each of them when they’re born.”

And just like that, I connect with two complete strangers and discover through crochet that people aren’t all that different in the end.

After he goes back for his appointment, I’m left alone with my crochet and my thoughts. But a few minutes later, the magic starts up again. Another patient comes in and asks what I’m making. I explain the project.

“Well that’s so neat! You know, I used to knit years ago, but it’s been a while since I’ve picked it up. It’s so relaxing; I should get back to it.”

Just like that, crochet brought us together.

The world’s not always the happiest place. There’s hurricanes, and feuding, and pain. But if something as simple as crochet can bring strangers together in the most unlikely of places, then I have hope the world isn’t such a bad place after all.

If you’re afraid to crochet in public, that’s okay. But I promise it’s worth the stares.

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