As overweight and male crocheter I have obstacles in my crochet interest. I don't even know if I should admit this stuff but let's keep the blog honest.
I struggle with certain elements of crochet that I feel are blocked from me. Partially due to my gender but also due to my weight and body dysmorphic issues I have. While to some of you, I appear fine but inside, I struggle and will go to my grave regretting being overweight. That's almost tragic within itself. I use others to measure myself from a body and personality point of view.
Crochet targets primarily women in interest. Honestly, that doesn't bother me but what it does is limit my own opportunities on wearables. So for me, I have to adjust my interest so my joy isn't stolen. Are you following me so far in my train of thought?
I Get Requests To Crochet Things
People want this, people want that and for myself, there are certain limitations that I have set for myself based on my own issues and weight. For example, I have never crocheted a sweater for myself. I'm scared too. I'm scared due to a few things and this is where you can start rolling your eyes.
- I fear measuring my own body to have a reality check? Is that ridiculous?
- I fear I will screw up the design and look ridiculous.
- I fear that maybe, the models that are skinnier than I won't be a reflection on how I will look in the garment.
I know others feel this when the models are fit or slender in appearance.
I don't want to teach doing a man's sweater because if I am going to make one, I want one for myself but I lack the courage. Yet, I just need to find the energy and just suck it up.
As A Male
A lot of what I crochet goes to charity. I'm happy to do that but some of the stuff I crochet such as shawls are really spectacular. However, I lack the courage to use it for myself as no one is saying I cannot. However, I want to blend in with society to be invisible when I am out and about. I'm not craving the attention on the day-to-day when I am grocery shopping or going to the markets.
So instead of giving up on crochet, I have leaned into the craft from a perspective where the body shape of being overweight is not really a strong factor.
It's why I slant myself to making blankets, scarves, hats and toys. I feel the passion of crochet from this perspective instead of doing something that doesn't bring me joy.
As an educator, I have learned to crochet things and sequences for the benefit of the community but isn't something I can directly use myself.
I Want To Crochet For Me At Times
I don't think it's wrong to admit that I want to crochet for myself. Like truly for me without worry about what the community wants.
- I usually crochet a few hats each year, usually one of them or 2 becomes my hat for the season. Intentionally filmed in my own colours for my own desires.
- I love and I mean love Stitch Samplers. My gawd do I love a good sampler. It's not about the finished project entirely for me. To me, it's like a puzzle. Can I do it? I know I can but to actually do it gives me joy beyond belief.
The Other Part of Joy
I literally have limitless joy when I get to demonstrate a stitch or pattern. Even if the project isn't for me. I cannot describe it feelings I have when I see a person having fear and surprising themselves with the ability they have had all along. To open their horizons is a real gift to give someone else.
So whether the project is for me personally or not for this element isn't relevant. The project goes to charity anyway when I am ready. I hand the items quietly off so the items don't get sold when the intention is to give them to someone without any strings attached. Not for someone to profit to sell my sample. The sample was made to teach and inspire with it. It's done its job and to give it to someone fills my cup over and over and over. No amount of money gives me that same joy. Am I making sense?
I'm Feeling a Shift Coming
As the years go on, I find myself shifting focus. The last major shift for me was using thread-like yarn. However, you know what is giving me a lot of joy lately is the item of toy making. Millie The Crochet Love Mouse I completed yesterday.
Oh my gawd, was that so fun to make. To watch a strand turn into a mouse looking back at me offering me a love heart. Imagine a kid or someone getting Millie The Mouse as a gift. The joy I felt making it is a joy someone can get receiving it.
I cannot design Amigurumi with my current skills but that doesn't mean I cannot learn. So I need to set time for myself to learn some basic skills.
I can follow instructions but I lack the basic knowledge of embroidery. I have learned over the years things off and on but I haven't been able to retain the knowledge as I don't use it.
I think for me, part of my Stitching Journey for 2022 is to experience more toy making. Honestly, holding a finished item or having it in my office gives me joy when I am getting beat up in social media or feeling down.
My Spring Crochet Gnome I did back in December 2021 gave me so much pleasure and you know what, I am super proud of myself for completing it.
So I need to sit with Daniel and learn some basics in shaping and imaginary. I lack the foresight to see the item in my head beforehand.
Following Some Direction
For the nutcrackers, we did back a few years ago. It wasn't a fluke. Daniel drew a concept on a table paper at the Crabby Joes in Hanover, Ontario. Daniel ripped off the drawing in crayon and took it home.
In his sketch book, he transformed the concept to something more. Adding colours. This little sketch was my guide to design.
If you see the video presentation below, Daniel transformed the drawing on the notebook and drew in a black marker right on the structure for me to follow. The marker outside was my guide to match the shape and self-design.
While the design does vary a bit, the guide gave me a starting point.
I can do something like this with a push for Amigurumi, I know I can. The challenge is, the original nutcrackers were not written out in a design pattern. So I could tweak, cinch, improvise and wing it without worrying about someone having to follow my instructions. The joy of that type of creation was incredible.
I learned how to embroider in detail on that structure. The lapel I did was incredible. I learned so much about the idea of creation
So While There are Limits...
There are elements of crochet that really intrigue me. I feel there is something for everyone in crochet. So while some elements of this hobby I feel limited to, there are other elements that I feel drawn to because of curiosity.
It leads me to question others. Do you feel limited and what other parts of crochet have you leaned into to feel the joy? I'm sure I am not alone. Leave me your thoughts in the blog comments below.