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Woven in My DNA

I am often asked, “How did you learn to crochet”? My go to answer has always been the same, my mom gave me a skein of yarn and a hook during one of my hospital stays and from there, with her help and the help of other YouTube and internet crochet artists, I learned to hone my skills. If I wanted to dig deeper into this question, I would say that maybe, just maybe, this fine art of crochet is part of my early genetics and ancestry!

A family history lesson

When I was young, I had a class assignment to write about my genealogy. I remember at that time, my paternal grandparents were visiting us in the United States from Lahore, Pakistan. I recall sitting with my grandfather as he shared with me the tales of our family members and generations before me. He had instilled in me a deep appreciation for our rich family heritage and we often conversed about our family lineage and how steeped in history our family roots ran. He shared things like in his village of Jalalpur Jattan, which is now in Pakistan (before the split of Pakistan and India), my great-grandfather Dr. Imam Ud Din (Born in the 1870s) came from a long line of weavers and tapestry artists; their skills were sought after by all the villagers and beyond.

 

They made textiles, tapestry, and blankets made from weaving wool called thussas. Several other family members were also gifted in this craft. To this day, our village and family are recognized for their legendary skill.  Along with my paternal great grandparents, many other family members were also very skilled in sewing, crochet, and knitting. These fiber art talents were passed on from generation to generation.

Here is a photo of my Great Grandparents:

This is another vintage photo of one of my family members as she works on a beautiful tapestry piece:

This is my Great Aunt who was known for her exceptional quilting skills:

My dad has mentioned often how wonderfully gifted his sisters are in these areas as well. I even found photos of my great grandfather weaving together the ropes on an outdoor lounge bed called a charpai. He even took time out of his busy life as a doctor to participate in this activity.

Coupled with the fact that my paternal side of our family was so gifted, on my maternal side of the family, my great grandmother Rose also had an incredible talent for crochet which is carried over through my mom and Aunt Gail, it was easy to deduce that I possibly inherited a wee bit of their skills. It is fun to imagine that I could be the bearer of these gifts and hope to continue to pass these talents on, not only here in this global arena, but to my own children someday. I am thankful to be a part of such talent on both my paternal and maternal sides of my family!

Centuries old

I have read that crochet has been around since the early 16th century and some proclaim even earlier. This had me thinking of the earliest history of crochet and how many generations ago these skills were truly used for survival. I found an interesting blog on the Crochet Guild of America Website giving insight into the history of this craft.

We have all learned from someone or somewhere. Whether this art-form was passed on to us from generations that came before us, or if we learned from the latest technology provided to us from online crochet artists or teachers, it continues to survive and thrive. I have deep respect for those who came before us that created such remarkable pieces of crochet artistry without the help of YouTube or Ravelry yet. I thank my lucky stars for having those resources today! It is truly remarkable that after all these years, decades, and centuries that the love for crochet is never-ending! Knowing my personal history, I believe these skills have been woven into my DNA.

Where did your love of crochet come from? Who was your first teacher? Share in the comments section!!

~Nadia

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Getting into the Crochet Zone: My Crochet Playlist

Getting into the Crochet Zone: My Crochet Playlist

Crochet is probably the most relaxing and meditative tasks I participate in on a daily basis. As an online blogger and YouTuber, it is part of my routine to design, create, film, and teach crochet. In order to truly find my zone and get a project complete, several factors have to align for my crochet day to be as productive as possible.

Quiet please, I’m counting!

It is no secret that concentration is a must as we crochet and create. Counting our stitches can be made more difficult if we are surrounded by distractions. I have come to a point where I am pretty good at multi-tasking, so even if there is a flurry of activity around me, I am still able to focus and count. One of the main factors that helps put me in my “zone” is music.

Having some type of background noise has been very conducive to my productivity. I notice that it has become almost more difficult to have complete silence while I create versus having some type of music or noise going on. Oftentimes, even as I travel, I carry my device with earbuds so I can have music on the go. This is an integral part of my creative process.

Music for every mood

The following is my crochet playlist for any mood that suits me.

If it’s a rainy or lazy day, and there is no pressure to finish a project my favorite artists to listen to are:
1. Billie Holiday (I’ll Be Seeing You and God Bless the Child are two of my faves!)
2. Whitney Houston (I Have Nothing and I Will Always Love You are two of my faves!)
3. Frank Ocean (The Entire Channel Orange album and Solo on the Blond Album are my favorites!)

If it is a day packed full of work and the pressure is on to finish my projects, my favorite artists to listen to are:
1. Bruno Mars (Uptown Funk and That’s What I Like are my faves right now)
2. Drake (Fake Love, One Dance, Hotline Bling, and Work with Rihanna are my faves)
3. Beyonce (Run the World, Formation, Flawless, and Baby Boy are just a few of my favorites, but she’s the best!)
4. Jason Derulo (Whatcha Say, Trumpets, Ridin’ Solo, and In my Head are some fast tunes)

 

Songs for crocheting in the car: #RoadTrip
1. Juicy by Biggie Smalls
2. Coffee by Miguel
3. And I am Telling You by Jennifer Holliday
4. Can’t Believe It by T-Pain
5. Words I Never Said by Lupe Fiasco
6. Have you Ever Seen the Rain by CCR

When I am filming video tutorials and go off camera to complete a section of the pattern before filming again, I turn music on and my go-to artists are:
1. Kendrick Lamar
2. Adele
3. Rihanna
4. The Weeknd
5. Amy Winehouse
6. Mike Posner
7. G-Eazy
8. Michael Jackson

Everyone is different

Everyone has a different taste in music style, or may enjoy a different background noise; others may prefer to work in peaceful silence. Whatever the case, it is all about making our environment as enjoyable as we can to do what we love!

Share how you enjoy your time crocheting. What makes you the most productive as you create? Do you have favorite music that puts you right into your “zone”? Share songs so I can add more to my playlist!!