Everything in moderation. Even the Bible says so (well, not quite). Common sense (and maybe our mothers) tells us that a fine line exists between when something helpful becomes hurtful.
Dark chocolate has health benefits. What astonishing news this was to me! So of course I added a small serving to my diet.
Too much dark chocolate will pack the pounds on my mid-section. But what is too much? Who decides that?
Half-a -year ago, I picked up the crochet hook after a long hiatus. My mother and grandmother practiced old school child-rearing. They introduced my sister and me to all sorts of home crafting: embroidery, machine sewing, knitting, crocheting.
All those things were offered to me. I even tried three off the four options. But the only one I ever enjoyed was crocheting, and even that didn’t inspire my imagination the way writing stories did.
I picked up the crochet hook because the women in my church determined to make hats and scarfs for homeless families in our community. Such an awesome cause. I couldn’t exactly promote the activity if I didn’t participate.
One of the women gave me an extra set of crochet hooks and reminded me how to make a chain. My first scarf was hideously malformed.
Her items were smooth and appealing. I wanted to conquer this crochet thing so I could make scarves like that.
Once the scarves weren’t much of a challenge, she taught me about the magic ring. And I used the skill as a foundation for making hats for all the women on my Christmas list. Who doesn’t want a handmade gift?
I found crocheting in the evenings was a perfect way to unwind after work. Whether the work involved teaching students or writing stories, I’m not as young as I was last month. So, I get tired in the evening.
While my husband watches his silly sitcoms, I keep my hands busy with hook and yarn. Sometimes, I put my earbuds in and listen to an audiobook (since reading was my evening activity of choice before this crocheting craze).
It was sheer therapy. And I made slippers, headbands, cup warmers and more hats.
One day while I was struggling with a stitch, my church friend fired up her tablet. She logged onto her Pinterest boards and clicked through to a YouTube instructional video. It was amazing.
Pinterest dazzles me. If I start scrolling through kitten pictures, I can lose an hour without blinking.
There were so many crochet projects pictured. Sweaters, shrugs, blankets, baby booties, flip-flops, handbags and you name it.
Tons of the pins claimed to link to FREE patterns. Patterns that I could read and understand for stitches I knew how to do.
And you know what a sucker I am for anything free. Who isn’t?
In no time, the biggest board on my Pinterest page was the one I’d called “Crochet Project Ideas.” I found the easiest crochet heart pattern and whipped out half a dozen in various colors. I’ll glue those to a ribbon and make a bookmark.
Next, I saw these pretty coasters. Hadn’t I purchased coasters as a Christmas gift? Wouldn’t it be more fun and personalized if I made them instead? *nods head vigorously*
All remained therapeutic until I found a lovely granny square afghan. I whipped out some red, white and blue granny squares.
Then Pinterest showed me a different pattern for the crochet staple. And another. One with a daisy in the center got pinned to my project board. Once I found the starburst pattern, my evenings morphed into a granny square manufacturing line where I was the sole worker.
Soon enough, I was making one square before I did my morning chores. Another square on the back end of my lunch break.
Yes, my crochet habit began to affect my ability to concentrate on writerly pursuits, especially when they were tedious ones like line editing.
I surrounded my arm chair with the different starburst centers and the four skeins of yarn I was using. I surfed the web for the perfect way to join my granny squares into an afghan. You might be surprised at the number of YouTube videos on the subject.
Hours later, I’d found the winner.
Writing? What’s that? I’ve got to get these squares connected.
I dropped off the cliff into obsession.
But aren’t the fruits lovely?
Do you struggle with hobbies turning into obsessions? What’s your Kryptonite?
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