Crocheting a community together
Crochet was just a passing hobby years ago, learned as a child, and if i remember correctly when other kids made practical things like hats and scarves, i crochet a teddy bear. It was a project from hell that looked crude, and it still sits in a basket in my closet today, some 40 years later. At that time I did discover something that was perhaps an old puritan or victorian ethic – busy hands are good hands… give someone something to do and they will stay busy, learn skills and stay out of trouble.
But over the years there was a big gulf between wanting to be creative, and finding the time to do it. Like anyone young i turned my attention to working hard, building the career, building up the home, volunteering, caring for aging parents, and just plain running. There was always a sense of wanting to be creative, but for one reason or another things never happened, or they occurred in small spurts…. get this project done and we move on.
It was 4 years ago that I found the instructions for making a bag out of plastic grocery bags, and knew this would be a good “in your lap in the car” project. I had no idea how many bags a basic tote would take, thinking the amassed collection in the kitchen was enough – and boy was i wrong…. As i finished using my own bags i had not even reached the handles… and that is when I first asked people for their used grocery bags.
Amazing what we do with those plastic bags! I can tell you every way someone has shared…. lunch bag on the run, storage for supplies, tools, things, handy dog pooper scooper, cat litter pooper scooper, garbage, recycling newspaper… and the list go on. Good… lets put them to use. But thankfully a few people were excited about sharing them. It started with a bag stuffed with bags left on a doorknob, or porch post… and now i get calls, drivebys, and even at church i come home with big huge amounts. There is something catchy about fulfilling a need, being green, and the encouragement that comes from family and friends… a sense of community.
Yes, some people ask to see the finished work, and a few have actually wanted to buy a Reblooming bag after supplying the plastic bags. But it is that sense of purpose we each share… a community effort rather than one middle aged woman crocheting her fingers to the bone as a green effort to save the planet’s landfills of some of the plastic.
Any of us who lived through the “ME 80s” will appreciate that we stepped away from that sense of interdependence, willingness to involve ourselves in each others lives, check in, find out, laugh and cry together. I know it is just crochet, but in that way I am a part of the fabric of a community. I may be a little stitch not seen, but I’m part of the whole, and without me the outcome would look a little different.
So here is the challenge – What are you longing to do? What has always spoken to you that you have been too busy doing life and have shelved? What is a good time to revisit those passions, and fan the flame? You never know who’s life you will encourage, or how you will be blessed by others of common interest. Don’t wait 40 years to realize you like doing something, or have a talent for something you have denied. The world is waiting to cheer you on….. go… get out there…. even if it is just for fun.