Knot a Lot Going on at the Moment: A Quarantine Hobby

By Caroline McCarthy, Sports Editor

Sitting across from Kelly Commons Starbucks, Isabel Cameron sat crocheting her latest project – an intricate wedding cape specifically designed for her sister’s romantic woodland themed wedding next year. 

A project of this stature takes Cameron about 40 hours to complete and uses an estimated 1500 yards of yarn. But even before all of this, Cameron has created a prototype using scrap materials to test out the design and fit her sisters’ measurements. 

“I feel like a lot of the time when you have hobbies that are like creating things everyone’s like, ‘Oh you can sell that,’ but that would really take away why I do it,” Cameron said. 

Cameron has chosen to keep her hobby to herself and avoid the unnecessary stresses of needing to meet a certain demand. She occasionally makes gifts for her friends and family, but rarely sells her pieces unless she has no need for them. 

A crocheted shirt, for example, would take 4 or 5 hours for Cameron to make, not to mention the price of materials, and would still be priced at $30. If priced any higher, Cameron feels no one would pay, despite these fashions taking over spring trends.

“Definitely fashion trends are going backwards right now,” Cameron said. “Like the 2004 Y2K look is very in,”

Cameron also feels the crochet look is making a comeback because of consumers’ ecological consciousness and their desire to support small businesses. 

“Additionally, everyone is a lot more environmentally friendly and environmentally conscious about the things that they do, so fast fashion is still very much a big business but people are more aware of handmade garments,” Cameron said. 

Crocheting was not a lifelong passion of Cameron, but rather a new hobby she picked up during the COVID-19 quarantine. She found her time was best spent creating things that are tangible and enjoyable to look at. 

It was a few weeks into the semester when Cameron’s friend, Gina Ricardo, approached her on the quadrangle and expressed interest in learning more about crocheting. The two sat on the steps of the quad while Cameron taught her the basic stitches – which soon formed a close-knit relationship between the two girls and their craft. 

Ricardo claims that the rhythmic pattern and familiarity with the stitches helps calm her ADHD. According to the Anxiety Resource Center (ARC) the repetitive motions and hand movements associated with knitting and crocheting aid in the mind’s relaxation, and tend to provide calming relief. In terms of ADHD, those who use the repetitiveness of crochet tend to focus better than their counterparts who do not. 

“I’m like a very, very antsy person,” Ricardo said. “When I’m talking to people or when I’m watching a show or video I usually have to be eating or doing something with my hands. I found that this is a very healthy outlet for me.”

Though Cameron and Ricardo admit to focusing better with their needles in hand, they would find it “disrespectful” to bring their work to class with them. 

“I haven’t thought of doing that. I have thought when I’m in the middle of a project like ‘I really want to bring this to class’ but I would never ask [a professor] to do that,” Cameron said. 

Ricardo thought about selling her merchandise, and even started an Instagram page to use as a platform, but soon found it took away from why she chooses to crochet. Now, if she has a piece she wants to sell, you can find it on her personal account’s story. 

“I have more followers on my actual instagram,” Ricardo said. “So if I want to sell anything I’ll just put it on there.”

Like any artistic hobby, there is room for creativity. Cameron has found herself making an array of obscure projects, including a faux-prosthetic leg for her dog and a uterus tapestry as her final project for her religion class.

The class, taught by Natalia Imperatori-Lee, PhD, focused on sexuality and rape culture, and had an open-ended final that allowed students to use their creativity. Cameron decided to dedicate her project to the issue of abortion rights, and took to her yarn. 

“I made a crochet tapestry that was about abortion rights, and there’s a quote in the catechism of the Catholic Church which basically says that your conscience, your internal conscience is the word of God,” Cameron said. 

As she explained, your conscience is God speaking to you, telling you what is right and wrong.

“My argument and like the project I made was, if your conscience is telling you that, no one can tell you that it’s wrong. And so I made a tapestry with a uterus picture,” Cameron said. 

The uterus showed how a past-time hobby can take on a new form when intertwined with academics. Cameron’s work can be seen hanging in Imperatori-Lee’s office. As for Ricardo, her bags, shirts and accessories will be featured in the Lotus Fashion Show this Wednesday.