Maybe it's exaggerating to call a 3-hour workshop on how to crochet a summer camp. But ever since my kids lost interest in going to summer camp, I'm all over it--and this is probably the only "summer camp" experience I'm going to get this summer. Picture a room with lots of scrappy art projects pinned up to the wall in the corner of the large warehouse wonderland that is SCRAP. Around 15 women of many ages, sizes, and orientations seated around 3 tables are gazing at their crochet hooks, crocheting intently. There is conversation--about how to get your teenager off the couch in the summer, about someone else's wedding presents, about spouses and significant others, about raves and concerts and other tantalizing snippets I didn't quite get the gist of--but it all happens with eyes fixed firmly on the crocheting.
I felt a little sorry for the guy who wandered into the room and exclaimed cluelessly: "Oh, knitting!" There was a little silence, and then the teacher answered briskly, "Actually, it's crocheting." To make up for his gaffe he feigned interest in what we were making and leaned in to look. "You're making skullcaps," he said. "They are crocheted caps," she corrected him. "This is a workshop space." He got the message.
I won't say I'm an expert crocheter now, but I did learn the basic stitches and started following the pattern to make the cap. Except I ripped out most of what you see above and started over since it was beginning to look more like a placemat. I don't really know why I'm picking up another craft, since I hardly have time for the sewing and scrapbooking projects I've started and not finished, but crocheting is different because you can bring it with you. It only takes a ball of yarn and a crochet hook. It takes less mental attention than any other craft I can think of (I've never tried knitting) and the repetitive hand movements are pleasurable. After several hundred stitches, my hands are getting the feel of it. Maybe I'll just keep ripping out the same yarn and starting over.