Name: Hayli Peña
Age: 18 years old
About the series
The Healing Craft Series features creators sharing their thoughts and feelings on crafting and healing through crafting.
“Yarn, to me, represents a cycle of love. And simply put, that makes me happy, and that’s all I strive to be.”
Hayli Peña, @big.doink.yarnery
What kind of craft do you do and how long have you been doing it for?
I knit and crochet, and I’ve been knitting since the age of nine, and crocheting for almost a year now.
What is your favourite place/time of day to craft and why?
For me, it’s anytime. I live in a small high rise apartment in the middle of a college town in Arizona, so usually I’m just in my living room. There’s a park about a quarter mile north of me, so sometimes I like to walk there and either knit or crochet on the park benches. The climate in my home state is very stable, so even in the winter months (actually especially in the winter months) I enjoy being outside; people watching, dog watching, life watching, and doing yarn crafts at the same time. It can be far too hot in the summer to go outside. I like to crochet all day long, from when I wake up to when I go to bed.
What inspires you (in life & in crafting)?
My inspiration comes from my innate desire to create. Crocheting and knitting bring about tangible objects that can be felt, touched, squeezed, and physically experienced. The inanimate things we acquire have a tendency to stick around regardless of what life throws at us. I draw inspiration mostly from nature. The natural flora and fauna that are around me don’t actually strike as big a chord as other places do though. This may sound a little funny, but the world of Minecraft is actually very inspiring to me, and I suppose that is because of the fact that in that game, there is boundless nature; uninterrupted by the hustle and bustle of a growing city.
How has/is crafting helping you and your mental health?
Quite recently I went through a traumatic break up from someone I was (and still am in some ways) deeply in love with. Someone I never thought would ever leave; someone who promised they weren’t going to. My early life was a cycle of the most important people to me always leaving, and pawning me off to other people who made it very clear that I was never wanted. So the traumatic break up was just another case of someone leaving; someone not wanting me around anymore. I don’t at all mean to sound like I’m feeling sorry for myself, or playing the victim card, but from my point of view, from these eyes, this has been my reality.
When my former S/O left, he (and those involved) very much broke the puzzle of who I was, and because of that, a majority of my “pieces” were lost and (what felt like) stolen. My ability to love deeply, any confidence I had in myself, and my own perception of who I was was gone. Because of all of this, I started to impulsively buy yarn; pounds and pounds of it, hundreds of skeins, and I began creating. I began focusing on something positive; something I could love about myself. I was proud of what I could do with a pair of needles, or a hook and some fibers. It was something that was mine, and no one could take it away from me; no one could steal that puzzle piece. As funny as it may sound, yarn doesn’t sit there and judge you based on your past, it doesn’t treat you badly when you make a mistake, and it doesn’t leave. It sits there, and it invites you to make something greater out of it. Something you can love, and something you can give to someone else to love. Yarn, to me, represents a cycle of love. And simply put, that makes me happy, and that’s all I strive to be.
What is your advice to other creators (or newly started creators)?
Mistakes are beautiful learning moments. Sometimes a mistake is a door to something greater. Mistakes also create variety, to which uniqueness is born.