Crochet Collective - Bendigo Magazine Winter 2015

In which I step outside of my comfort zone and take a crochet class at a favourite cafe, and meet two lovely creatives as a result...otherwise known as “Crochet Collective” from the winter issue of the Bendigo Magazine.

I write about facing the challenge of learning how to crochet, making connections with Jacinta from Hattie Loves who runs the class, and Caitlan from Indie Stitches who came to a craft night as a spin off from the crochet classes. As promised things I’ve referenced in the article are linked below, including the the extended interviews...

Hattie Loves Q& which Jacinta covers crocheting everything from a pink T-Rex to cacti…”you gotta love plants you can’t kill right?!” Rarely sticking to (or using) patterns and loving her role in teaching crochet, her one of a kind creations are also for sale!

Indie Stitches Q& which Caitlan covers her love of making clothes for herself and her family...the book that changed her approach to life and seeking satisfaction in simplicity...and her plans to make vintage skirts available in her online store, alongside the current range of indie sewing patterns.

Down to Earth by Rhonda Hetzel: Rhonda Hetzel is a retired journalist and technical writer best known for her award-winning blog, 'Down to Earth'.  Full of handy hints and gentle, practical advice. Rhonda lives the simple life and shares in this book her many experiences on how to go about simplifying and starting your own Down to Earth life.

Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon: Eight books and counting, this epic saga follows an ex-wartime nurse in the 1940’s who accidentally travels back to Scotland in the 1700’s through touching a Stone Henge type rock formation. Leaving her husband behind and hiding her true identity, she seems to stumble into the middle of one life threatening scenario after another...being mistaken as a witch due to her knowledge of medicine and “future” historical events that change the landscape of Scotland. She struggles with trying to return to her present day, falling in love, and avoiding capture by the red coats. Note: I am not normally one for reading historical sagas or “back in time” type deals but I am seemingly well and truly hooked on this one!

If you’d like to read the article in full, the Bendigo Magazine should start showing up on shelves today and in most stockists by the weekend...otherwise you can read the online version here, excerpt below...

Do you ever contemplate what life would be like if you aimed to explore outside of your comfort zone regularly? That’s not usually me…I’ve worked hard to get my comfort zone exactly how I like it and I’m usually up for keeping it warmly wrapped around me. Whilst we’re on the topic, what would yours look like if you could see it? Mine would be kept warm and cosy, perpetually winter, with peppermint hot chocolates within reach and you could only wear pajamas.  But, I read somewhere that stepping outside of said comfort zone is good for you…so somewhat reluctantly I occasionally book myself in to things I wouldn’t ordinarily do…just to push the boundaries a bit.

            This time, it was a crochet class on my own. Now I know what you’re thinking…way to push yourself to the edge and go crazy outside of those boundaries…stay with me here. A crochet class combines two things I’m not normally a fan of: walking into a room full of people I don’t know, and yarn. Yarn and I have never gotten along. I’ve started a grand total of two scarves in my life…neither of them finished. Using two needles doesn’t click with my brain. I always thought that somehow crochet was a little less intimidating, probably because it has zero needles and one hook. In the spirit of telling all, I did use a YouTube tutorial once to teach myself a single usable stitch to try and make a scarf. But I made the mistake of watching movies whilst I did it…and in the end I think I invented a whole new stitch and didn’t count so it ended up ridiculously long and charmingly lumpy. Something had to change, I wanted to make all the awesome things I’d seen on YouTube, I wanted to be better friends with yarn...

Oh...and the blanket I had planned to have fully crocheted by now? Let's just say I'm not quite there yet...I blame Outlander ;) but you can see the beginning of my progress here in "How to Crochet a Hexagon"