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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

I learned how to crochet when I was 13 years old. I don’t remember why I wanted to learn so badly, but suddenly it was something I needed to do. My aunt promised to teach me. I would go over to her house every Thursday and she would teach me the basics: how to start a chain, the single and double crochet stitch, and, of course, how to tie your ends in.

As my aunt taught me what she knew, I grew a love for crocheting. It was a perfect way to unwind and let every other problem I had fall away. When I got to high school, my passion for crocheting started to fade away. I became too busy with school work and extracurriculars. Crocheting seemed to go on the back burner and I forgot about it.

When I was crocheting with my aunt, I had started a blanket, and for a long time, it went unfinished. I never gave myself the time to sit down and relax, and I instead let myself forget about something I loved so much.

Then during the pandemic, I was stuck at home with more time than I could have asked for. I was critically bored and I needed something to fill the time. That’s when my mind turned back to the blanket I started over five years before. I finally picked up my crochet hook once again, but I was a little rusty. I had to reteach myself the basics, but they came quickly and naturally.

After I got the hang of it again, I finished the blanket that had, for so long, been residing in my closet. It’s nowhere near perfect, but it’s mine and it’s done.

Finishing this project reawoke my passion for creating. I didn’t stop there. I started embroidering and working on new projects. I still don’t crochet as much as I would like. Life often seems to get in the way, whether it’s work or school, or something else. Despite that though, I try to let myself relax more and find ways to make new things.

Mostly though, I’m focusing on crocheting. Over the last year, I have completed a few projects I’m pretty proud of. Something I have really been into making has been tote bags. So far, I have made three. The first was kind of a rough draft. It did not come out great and is oddly way too big, despite the fact I followed the tutorial to a T. The second, which I made for myself, was much better. The third, I made for my roommate, and it was the best one yet.

In December and January, I decided to start making book sleeves. I saw a tutorial for one on TikTok and knew I needed one for myself (and my friends needed one too).

After making a couple of those, I am back into making tote bags. Well, one in particular. A checkered tote bag. This was a new challenge for me. While crocheting this bag, I have to use two balls of yarn at a time. Switching off from two colors after every fourth stitch. I thought this would be a struggle, but it is surprisingly easier than I expected.

The best part of picking this hobby back up is how it makes me feel. It helps keep me grounded and lets me take a moment for myself — something I don’t frequently allow myself to do. It is also incredibly rewarding. Having something physical that can show off all my hard work.

For my next projects, I’m looking to make crocheted plants, steering wheel covers, a beanie, and maybe a sweater. But honestly, it doesn’t really matter what I make. It only matters that I am able to find comfort in something I love doing.

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Samantha Butts

U Mass Amherst '23

Samantha is a junior at UMass Amherst studying English and Journalism. She enjoys reading, fashion, watching movies, thrifting, and going out with friends. She is passionate about women's rights, the environment, and politics.