The Healing Craft Series: Gemini

Name: Gemini
26 years old
Facebook: mybesthook
Depop: miniegg

About the series

The Healing Craft Series features creators sharing their thoughts and feelings on crafting and healing through crafting.

“It’s funny how certain items you make can carry so much meaning or hold memories.
I think buying handmade is buying a piece of someone else’s life and you know it will always be made with love and care.”

Gemini, @mybesthook

What kind of craft do you do and how long have you been doing it for?

I started crocheting in the summer of 2017 and continued throughout my pregnancy in 2018. I then took a bit of a break and started creating properly again during the 2020 lockdown! I suppose this has been one good thing to come out of this crazy year. So much free time! My partner actually bought me my first hook and ball of yarn from a shop in Wales. I remember the yarn had purple and blue tones and the label said “mermaid” on it!

I have a stupid confession though – the first stitch I learned was the star stitch which I obviously found incredibly hard! I ended up making a pouch for my sister using the star stitch which wasn’t too bad in the end (or maybe she was just being nice). I remember the first YouTube video I watched was about how to actually hold the hook and yarn – very basic but essential! I then learned how to make a foundation chain, (do the star stitch), make granny squares and endless amounts of hats! Those winter hats became presents for my family and friends that Christmas of 2017 – sorry family and friends!

What is your favourite place/time of day to craft and why?

Whenever my son is sleeping haha! I have fond memories of crocheting in the garden when I first learned to crochet, as well as in Wales where my partner is from. I have yet to crochet in public but I’ve definitely crocheted on long car journeys. My main “crochet space” is my bed or the living room sofa! One day I will learn how to store my overflowing stash properly and invest in a comfy chair or something! It would be nice if I wasn’t constantly living out of tote/project bags (even though tote bags are the best).

What inspires you (in life & in crafting)?

I love making gifts for my loved ones and it was firstly my partner who didn’t mind wearing the questionable beanies I made for him. He inspires me everyday to be the best version of myself and encourages my love of crochet! My son is also a very inspiring little person – he is so clever and hilarious even at the young age of 2! I don’t want to be cringe and say he’s given my life meaning but he has in a way.

I feel so much more motivated, like I’m doing everything for a reason now. My favourite makes are always the things I’ve made for him – his blue fox romper, his orange bucket hat (beautiful pattern courtesy of @thewooltiger), the fluffy newborn hat and of course the huge, chunky dinosaur! The dinosaur is so reminiscent of the toys my nan used to make. I have a purple bird-dinosaur hybrid toy made by her which I have always loved, and I have fond memories of playing with a crocheted Fred Flinstone toy with my cousins when we were little. I always wish I could have a conversation with her about crochet but she passed away when I was a teenager. I suppose there are a lot of things I wish I could say to her.

My mum is also an extremely creative person (arty) and my dad is creative in a musical way. I’m very lucky! I also can’t not mention my sister who has been an absolute star modelling my work for me on Instagram and giving me loads of fab ideas about what to make next. She is also the recipient of lots of my creations! I love making things for her. My brother is a bit harder to make for but I did make an awesome beanie for him using Cheshire Cat colours and also a green airpods case for his birthday. He is terribly funny and a brilliant writer. We share a love for writing and I also have a writing account: @geminiswords! Creative writing is an outlet for me in the same way crochet is and I definitely find inspiration from literature, nature and colour in general.

How has/is crafting helping you and your mental health?

I always feel a strong sense of accomplishment after creating something, even if it is something as simple as a pair of earrings to match my outfit (this will cheer me up)! I know @meganhmakes made an amazing video about crochet and mental health specifically and I wanted to reiterate her point about finding the time to make for yourself as well as other people. I have suffered with anxiety and depression in the past and I view crochet as a great mindfulness activity.

The act of counting stitches and keeping my hands busy will help me to stay in the moment. It was also such a confidence boost to me to have so many of my friends interested in buying my earrings and persuading me to start My Best Hook. I think I will always have that voice telling me I’m not good enough and I sometimes look at my Instagram feed and wonder if any of it is any good. However, I will never regret making my crochet public and every day I am so grateful for the amount of love I have received from the crochet community. My life hasn’t gone as straightforwardly as I hoped but I’m so glad I decided to pick up the hook!

I’m feeling sad at the moment because we’ve had to postpone our wedding and I actually returned to crochet after a year to work on some wedding earrings for myself! I know this year has been a tough year for many and one thing that always helps me is reminding myself I’m not alone, I’m not the only one who feels like this, I’m not the only one who hates my own art sometimes!

I recently shared something personal on my stories because it was the 3 year “anniversary”of the day I made my granny square jumper. I suffered a miscarriage at the end of 2017 and quit my rubbish job. I spent 4 days crocheting 4 granny squares and stitched them together to make a jumper. It’s funny how certain items you make can carry so much meaning or hold memories. I think buying handmade is buying a piece of someone else’s life and you know it will always be made with love and care.

What is your advice to other creators (or newly started creators)?

Make what makes you happy! I know a lot of people have said this one. My butterfly wall-hangings make me so happy even though I hardly sell any. I think it’s easy to focus on how much you’re selling but enjoying the process is way more important. I don’t even consider myself a business because crochet is first and foremost my hobby. I never want crochet to become a chore (and I have experienced burnout before) but at the same time I am amazed with how many people seem to love my posts! I’ve even had a few people straight up tell me I’ve inspired them to create their own crochet account which honestly warms my heart. You guys inspire me too!!

I definitely would advise anyone who is just starting out to truly immerse themselves in this lovely community of makers and make connections. If anyone can appreciate your art it will be another artist! I also try to share and save everything I love by other makers and support small businesses as much as possible.

I have found so many amazing small businesses through my crochet account. I’ve also won a quite few giveaways and I feel like crochet gives me good luck now! I like to think I have made some lifelong friends through making this account and I’ve dabbled in pattern testing and art exchanges . Creating those links and having fun on your artistic journey are the two pieces of advice I would give!

Anything else you’d like to share?

I don’t think I have a “best” hook! Scandalous! You can’t choose your favourite child guys.

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