This week I have the pleasure of doing a cross blog conversation with Sara from MomWithAHook. Sara is a terrific crochet blogger and we’ll be spending the week asking each other questions back and forth about crochet, blogging and the work that we’re both doing. I hope our readers get a lot out of this.
What is a Cross Blog Conversation?
Sara introduced me to this idea. She first heard about Cross Blogging from Kelly of Solosmarts.com who heard about the idea from Liz Strauss of Sucessful-blog.com. Basically this is just a back-and-forth conversation between our two blogs. Sara started the first post with some questions for me and now I’m going to answer those questions here and send her back my questions. The goal is to open up our blogs to each other’s readers and hopefully create some fun content for you guys. And I want to invite you to join in. If any of my readers have questions that they want me to ask Sara, just leave them in the comments here.
My First Response
First of all, thank you so much for introducing me to the idea of a cross-blog conversation and for inviting me to join in. I love what you’re doing for the crochet blogging community and am thrilled to be able to introduce my readers to more of what you’ve got going on.
The first thing that you asked me about was my 365 project which I’m super excited to share with people. Every single day this year (minus one free day because it’s a leap year) I’m posting a photo on my blog showing the outfit that I’m wearing that day. I’m challenging myself to wear crochet every single day this year. The goal is to show people the myriad of different ways that crochet can be worn in contemporary every day life. I’ve set myself the goal of making sure that I post what I’m really wearing that day to give people a realistic picture of ways to wear crochet.
Now you asked me a question that is at the top of everyone’s mind when they find out about this project, “do you really own that much crochet?!” The rule that I set for myself is that I can repeat crochet items and I can repeat clothing but I can’t repeat the same entire outfit. So I might wear the same scarf ten times but it will be with different dresses and jeans. Or I might wear the same dress ten times but I’ll wear it with a different crochet item. I have a lot of clothes (not sure how many but I only do my laundry once every six weeks or so) and I probably do have about five dozen crochet items (mostly accessories like scarves and capelets but also some dresses). I’m finding it challenging but fun to put together these different outfits. I’m sure about midway through the year I’m going to find it more challenging but I’ll be making myself more wearable crochet items between now and then!
Another thing that you asked me about was the booklet I have for sale called When Grandma Isn’t Crocheting She’s Hunting Big Game. This is a self-published booklet of 34 stories about older women who crochet but also do other cool things. They are stories that I had collected throughout 2011 from small newspapers around the nation. The title is inspired by the story of a woman goes safari game hunting with her husband and has shot such creatures as a seven foot tall bear. It mentioned that she crochets and I just got this wonderful image of the gun totin’ granny with a satchel of crochet WIPs at her side. They’re all true stories. I haven’t done much promotion of this booklet because it was really kind of the draft example of what is going to be an annual series. This year I’m doing more checking into the stories, trying to get more detail and hopefully getting photos of both the crocheters and some of their work. The booklet just has text based on the news articles so it’s just a preview of what’s in the upcoming years!
Now for the last, but probably biggest question that you asked … What got you started in crocheting and why are you so passionate about it? … I learned to crochet a chain when I was a kid, like many people do, but hadn’t done anything with it until about three years ago. At the time, I was going through a terrible bout of depression. I’d had undiagnosed depression since I was a teenager but this was the worst it had ever been. Without getting into too many details, it reached near-suicidal levels and had me not leaving my bed for weeks at a time. It was awful. At that time I thought that I would never again feel excited about anything at all and yet there was some big internal push inside of me to keep trying to reach out and find something. And whenever I would get energy, I’d try something, from dance classes to art groups to meditation … one of the things that I tried was crochet and I don’t know why it stuck when nothing else did but it did. I began crocheting and the hours started to slip away instead of just piling up endlessly on top of one another. A lot of things helped turn my life around (some good doctors, finally accepting some medication, some amazing friends and family members) but I have to say that crochet offered me a lot of healing properties at that time that I value and treasure. These days I use crochet as more of a creative outlet but I think that first deep connection with it is the core reason that I am so passionate about it today.
Whew … I can certainly babble, can’t I? But that’s enough about me … let’s talk about you! I think that one of the biggest things that you and I have in common is that we are both interested in helping other people with crochet blogs to strengthen the blogging and online community aspect of their work. What is your background in blogging and online writing? You offer a lot of resources to help crochet bloggers (the 365 crochet blog topics download), insight into your personal blog editorial calendar … Can you tell me a bit more about those resources and how you hope crocheters online will be able to take advantage of them?
And I would also love to know more about your Granny Square exchange that’s starting now but peaks in March. How does that work and what is the value of it for the crocheters that participate?
Looking forward to hearing back from you!