I doubt my great-grandmother intended that I start some quasi movement when she first handed me a hook and some thread all those decades ago. In fact, I know her purpose was to help me become a “well rounded, educated young lady.” Embroidery, crochet, baking, multiplication and division tables, and weekly vocabulary and spelling drills were done to ensure that I would be a “woman of quality.”
Until 2003 or so, crochet was just something that was part of my life. Then I started to be involved in fiber arts groups as a hand spinner and crocheter. I started picking up on the snobbery and wondered why, like most discrimination there were no good reasons. I ran into more silliness and bad attitudes against crochet when I went to sell my art yarn, and I started to get really miffed. It bothered me that people could seem so educated and reasonable about so many things and then get down right mean and ugly when it came to something as basic as a craft. It didn’t give me a whole lot of hope in humanity to be honest. I was searching for that hope, I had severe PTSD compounded by a couple other anxiety disorders and depression for good measure.
Then almost five years ago, I was reading through the message boards on Ravelry.com and I snapped. I just couldn’t take it any more, I had been vocal before that, I had countered with logical arguments and facts. More often than not if I posted a picture of good crochet I was told it was the exception and not the rule. (Go look on Hookey and suck on it, nay sayers.) Beings that I have a pretty odd sense of humor I started the joke that became The Crochet Liberation Front. I am not kidding that I was excited when two people joined my group, how fun! We had a blast.
But, I was angry. I was angry not just at crochet being put down, I was filled with a consuming rage generated from years of abuse in my childhood and the repatterning into adulthood. Five years ago, I was finally in a safe enough and happy enough environment to actually “deal with it.” Well, needless to say that involved a lot of hard work, lots of sleepless nights, insomnia happened and so I would work on the CLF.
I learned how to blog, I re-learned web building, and then I discovered social media. The past five years has felt like grad school.
I’ve made a lot of people laugh, a few people cry, I’ve sure as shooting made some people angry, and I’ve made some of the most wonderful friendships a woman could hope to forge.
What is the point to this post? I’m not angry any more. Over the past two years, I have slowly but surely run out of that all consuming rage and I won. It didn’t consume me. I have no desire to give up, there is no despair, I’m just really not interested in fighting any more. I will always speak plainly, I will always have opinions and strong ones, and I will always be a little quirky, I’m cool with quirky. Notice the change in graphics? I am changing things up here, not because I am throwing out the Crochet Liberation Front, I knew what liberation meant to me, even if some people really can’t take a joke and don’t get it. I knew from my own experience with PTSD that the prisons and the cages are in our minds. All the time I was crying out for value, liberation, merit, and respect for crochet, I was coaching myself to wellness.
You see being a survivor just isn’t good enough. I want to thrive. I want crochet to thrive. I want creative people to thrive and I want our members to thrive.
What does that mean? It means we move forward together. We create, learn, share, make, sell, buy, promote and network together. We live free. Our Picot (Pee coh) are Free! We create chains that do not bind us, we create chains that set us free! Remember that? It’s from the CLF First Ever Book.
Crochet is hot, it never wasn’t hot, how many millions of us crocheted before the trend? How many of us used crochet to cope with stress? How many of us used crochet as a form of focus and meditation? How many of us make beautiful things, fun things, and yes we make silly things for loved ones, because we can? We’re free.
The Crochet Liberation Front isn’t going any where, but we’re going to use CLF as an identifier, it’s easier to type and we all do it anyway. CLF can also stand for Crochet Lives Free. Live Free, that’s a concept I can love.
The changes here reflect the changes in me, I’m free too. I’m free from the bondage of debilitating mental anguish and pain, anger and suffering. I’m freed of having to be a survivor and a fighter. It just keeps getting better.
Crochet helped me get here and so did you. Thanks guys, I mean it, you have no idea how grateful I am to you for being here and reading my blurbs and blasts. You helped make the changes.
Let’s enjoy the next five years being free together, here on this site and on Hookey and in person.