From dinosaurs to ice cream cones, any object can be crocheted from a colorful assortment of yarn. Diamond Bar High School alumna Lydia Zhu and rising junior Maya Mehta picked up this hobby during quarantine to liven up idle days.
Mehta was first introduced to crocheting when she was nine, but lost interest in the hobby until this year. She said she decided to relearn this activity when she found her grandmother’s old crochet hooks, and then started watching video tutorials on YouTube.
“I asked my grandmother how to use [the hooks], but she couldn’t remember so I decided to learn,” Mehta said via LINE. “In an ironic turn of events, I’ve been teaching her during lockdown, which has been really good for both of us.”
Mehta said she most enjoys crocheting amigurumi, which are stuffed yarned creatures. Crocheting animals allows her to try new stitching techniques, different from those she uses to make flat objects such as scarves or hats.
Mehta said that crocheting has helped build patience and give her a sense of satisfaction in creating something of her own. She usually starts each new project either with the intent of challenging herself or giving them to others as gifts.
“I like to see my loved ones enjoying things I’ve made,” Mehta said. “I highly recommend crochet to anyone who is looking for a low-cost but satisfying hobby.”
Zhu, who graduated with the Class of 2020, was first taught how to crochet by her grandmother when she was in middle school. However, she stopped pursuing this activity in high school when her schedule became busier. Recently, she found that she has more time on her hands and decided to pick up crocheting again.
“I started watching tutorials on my own and learned [by] myself through repetition and multiple failures, which is normal for anyone trying to learn a new skill,” Zhu said via Instagram. “[My grandmother] sparked my interest in crocheting and still continues to be my inspiration.”
Depending on the pattern and size of a project, it can take as few as a couple hours or up to a couple months to complete. For example, blankets and ponchos may take months to finish, but smaller objects are done in an hour. According to Zhu, knowing how to sew is sometimes very helpful, since basic sewing skills are required when fabricating ears, mouths and noses.
Zhu has an Instagram account, @craft._.boredom, where she posts her completed projects. She recommends that other people give crocheting a try, since this activity has helped her reduce stress and control her emotions.
“I would definitely encourage others to pick [crocheting] up as a hobby especially during times like these because it really trains your patience, ability to accept failure and gives you something to do at home,” Zhu said. “This is not something just for girls or old people (as stereotypically known) and I’m sure you won’t regret it.”