Crochet was a hobby I picked up when I was single, as was blogging. But hooking up crochet as a new mom has proved challenging. Actually, it’s really motherhood that has proved challenging. Any mother knows, once your baby is born, you really do embark on a new life, and a lot of your habits and lifestyle need to be adjusted or just thrown out the window altogether.
But throwing crochet out the window was not happening for me. It’s one of my go to’s for self care, and crochet was what kept me hinged together when I was on the edge of spiralling into a breakdown. And at first, it was easy to crochet with a baby. While Baby J slept, I could crochet. If he was up and just chilling in his little lounge chair with some teething toys, I could crochet. But once he started crawling, it became harder to crochet. He was getting into things he shouldn’t, moving furniture (I swear Baby J channels Bam Bam) and worst of all, getting into my yarn!!!
So how do I keep hooking up crochet with a little baby who loves to crawl and climb and explore? Here are some ways I keep hooking up those crochet projects.
Make the Process Quick and Easy
Those of us who love to crochet tend to have a lot of yarn and hooks and project bags. And often, all of these can be scattered and stashed all over our homes. In baskets, cupboards, drawers, closets. And I think this is because those of us who really love the fibre arts want to do as much as we can in the category we love, be that knit, crochet, felting, or whatever. And sometimes, having all that wonderful yarn everywhere can be a little…confusing, messy and overwhelming. Especially when hooks start getting stuffed into project bags and go “missing” because of course, it’s always the hook you need for the next project you are starting.
Suggested for You: I’m Learning Tunisian Crochet
This makes it hard to actually sit down and crochet. Your baby is asleep, but you’re digging through a yarn stash or a project bag looking for what you need to do what you love. You finally get started, and oh, you now need a stitch marker, and have to find those too. You’re wasting time, making the process harder and getting little crocheting done, which is frustrating and ultimately leads to the thought that you simply don’t have time. When really, what you need to do is make the process quick and easy to start so that you can get those rows hooked up.
So it’s really important for ALL of us crocheters, not just those of us who are new moms, or have small children, to make the process as easy as it can be. We need to have our crochet essentials in one place as opposed to everywhere. Your crochet needs a home of sorts.
Now, in my home, I don’t have a yarn room or a design studio for this purpose. And I know many people also will not have an entire room to dedicate to their crochet hobby. However, I can share with you how I’ve re-organized my crochet so that essential things I need are easily at hand so that when it’s time to crochet, I can just get crocheting instead of hunting around for hooks and stitch markers.
I think it’s essential to have a spot where you crochet. And when I was single and living on my own, this was easy. It was wherever the heck I wanted because it my house. And when the baby was just a wee babe, it was pretty much the same. But now, I have my very own crochet corner. And it’s literally in a corner. I have a chair just my size like Goldilocks, a little table with a drawer and a couple of baskets with projects in them.
The chair is on an angle, right in the corner is the table that holds my tools, and close to that on the opposite wall is our sofa. The project basket and bag are wedged between the sofa and chair and the space is pretty much barricaded so the baby can’t grab hold of my tools and yarn easily. Having everything tucked into one corner means that the baby can’t access any of crochet tools and materials.
The little table is decorative and holds a potted plant, but that little drawer it has is a perfect place to squirrel away my hooks and other notions and do-das. I certainly do not want my baby getting his hands on my 2.75mm hook and stabbing it into his eye. So my hooks are organized into little boxes with lids and tucked into this drawer since Baby J can open the boxes. Since the table is right next to my chair, all my hooks are at my fingertips. Having them in the boxes makes it super easy to locate whatever hook I need, and so whenever I start a new project, it’s effortless to do so as everything is one place.
The project baskets were at risk however, since the baby could easily reach out and unravel projects, tangle yarn and otherwise create chaos. Hooking up crochet with a baby was proving an exercise in problem solving! For a while, I wasn’t sure what to do. I thought about getting a box with a lid on it, but realized he’d learn to remove the lid soon enough. I decided to solve this problem by buying X-large Ziplock bags and stuffing my projects and yarn into them and then placing those into the baskets. This way, each project is organized and safe from Baby J’s hands. It’s worked pretty well so far! The crochet corner is my refuge, and I hope that it continues to be as functional as it currently is.
Another essential to my crochet corner is Baby J’s crochet basket. Since he is curious, I thought it’d be a good idea to let him touch and feel yarn. I found a small basket, put in a ball of yarn I’ll never use and a big plastic hook so that he can investigate crochet. It’s proved an excellent distraction when he’s especially intent on getting his hands on my yarn.
What About Completing Projects?
If you are wondering, how do you have time to complete any projects with a little baby who needs attention and careful supervision, you are asking a very good question! This is proving challenging. It’s one thing to have a comfy crochet corner, but hooking up those crochet projects to completion is quite another. While I do design, I also enjoy working on patterns from other designers. And I have several WIPs on my hook right now. It’s definitely not easy crocheting and following a pattern while you are minding a baby who crawls here and there and everywhere–and I mean, everywhere! I try to work on the patterns that require a little more focus during the evening hours when my hubby is also around to keep an eye on the baby, but this is part of the reason a couple of my projects aren’t making a lot of process. I’m getting up a lot to save the baby from his own adventures!
I have accepted that those larger projects are just going to take a little longer and I have some easier, smaller projects that I work on during the day when I want a break from laundry and such. Some you’ll be seeing in the fall as new pattern releases.
You can still crochet or do any hobby as a new mom. Motherhood does re-define you, but it doesn’t have to peel away parts of who you are. You can still do the things you love as mom, whether it’s bike riding or crocheting. You just have to find a new way and make sure that you are making that process easy and enjoyable. I dived back into this blog when Baby J was around 6 months old and now he’s 11 months old and while I may not have done what I thought I could do with my blog, I’m still blogging and crocheting and being a mom. Hooking up crochet as a new mom is possible! Take out those hooks mama, and happy hooking.
What are some tips you have for moms as a maker and crocheter?