It’s a Monday evening in late October as senior Natalie Dearing comes home from JoAnn’s Fabrics with an orange ball of yarn. The fall temperature is perfect, and it holds just enough inspiration for her to start crocheting again after three years off.
The last time she crocheted, Dearing made a small baby blue blanket with purple fringe. Now, she is working on a bigger orange blanket for the coming cold weather. She goes into the living room, sits on the green couch, and gets out her crocheting materials.
“It’s just something to do when you’re sitting around doing nothing,” Dearing said. “I guess it’s because the weather started to get cold, so I started again.”
Dearing begins her new project by rolling the yarn into a tight ball. She makes a knot loop on the end and pushes the hook of her silver needle through. Wrapping more of the yarn around her needle, she slides it back off the hook and it adds on to the rest of the row.
“I don’t know why I like it,” Dearing said. “It’s really repetitive and it hurts your hands. But I just think its fun for some reason.”
Her fingers move rhythmically around the yarn and needle as more and more rows are added on. She learned to crochet in this pattern from her mother, Regena, who had learned from Dearing’s great grandmother “Grandma Joe.” Just upstairs is her mom’s unfinished multicolored blanket.
“It’s so addictive that once you start you just keep going,” Regena said. “I just don’t have as much time to do it anymore.”
After an hour of crocheting with In Living Color playing on the TV in the background, Dearing wraps up her needle, her orange yarn, and her rows of crocheted blanket.
She climbs the stairs to her room and opens her closet. Sitting on the shelf is the blue blanket that had taken her a few weeks and many balls of yarn to create.
“I guess that’s why I stopped,” Dearing said. “Because we were sick of buying yarn.”
She enjoys looking back on her past work and ahead to the progress she is starting to make. Dearing wants to keep crocheting this time and hopefully make a scarf for her next project.
“Completing something that you worked really hard on: it’s a feeling of accomplishment,” Dearing said. “And if you’re cold you can wear it or wrap it around you.”