Back in April I decided to start a new crochet project. I didn’t know what I was doing, only that I was bored of cowls (and presumably so was everyone I keep making them for). I bought some obnoxiously bright wool and started making granny squares.
As anyone who has spent any time with me since then will tell you, I became a bit addicted. I have not been able to put it down. I’ve been crocheting at work, at friends houses, at other peoples houses, in the pub, on the train… you get the idea. I’ve basically spent the last five months with yarn around my fingers and cramp in both hands.
But what I’ve learnt is that it’s amazingly therapeutic. As I got used to being a single person again, what started as as a something to do in the evenings that wasn’t sex or having an argument with someone about how to cook a risotto (what kind of deviant wants to put all the stock in at once?) soon became my way of unwinding after a stressful day and quieting all the thoughts buzzing through my brain.
This bloody blanket has defined my summer. When I look at it I remember what I was doing, what I was thinking about, who I was with or what rubbish TV I was watching when I was making each square. It’s taking so long to finish (almost there now…) a lot of things have happened.
While I was crocheting:
I get over that breakup.
I revel in my independence and resolve to be single for a long time.
Andy Murray won Wimbledon. I even put the crochet down for long enough to watch it properly.
My Mum convinces me to do some gardening. I discover I quite like it.
I move to a new city.
I have my nose pierced. I get blood on the yarn.
I stop hiding under a duvet and make some new friends.
I realise that I’m never going to be a good cook, but that I’m fairly capable of feeding myself.
I turn 25. Despite insisting I don’t want a fuss, friends turn up with tea, chocolate, wine and body shop cosmetics (they know me well). I also treat myself to some new yarn.
I have a fringe cut. Mainly to hide to spots that have erupted as a result of my newly blossoming social life.
I meet somebody who makes me question my resolution to be single. Progress on the blanket slows as I have some text messages to reply to.
A friend asks me to be her bridesmaid. I put the blanket down for long enough to try a dress on.
I discover I like black pudding.
I realise I’m perfectly capable of finishing a bottle of wine by myself (while crocheting, and wailing along to Adele). I resolve to not have wine in the house again.
Family visit from Texas. I try and explain the difference between crochet and knitting to my male thirteen year old cousin by comparing them to baseball and hockey. “That’s just stupid,” he says.
I visit York and go drinking with old friends. I reacquaint myself with Evil Eye cocktails and cheesy chips on the way home.
I move house again.
I meet some people in Oxford who I don’t work with.
It starts to get dark earlier and I suspect summer might be over.
Which brings me to now, when I’m sat on the floor under a pile of crochet, still unable to put the wool down.