Just over 3 years ago I learned how to crochet and a year after that I purchased the book ‘F*ck it, do what you love’ and I couldn’t tell you which of those things changed my life more.
I’m Helen Coe, I’m part of the Aylesbury branch of Sew and Sews, and I’m a craft addict. In particular I am a crochet addict and hooker extraordinaire! Over the past three years I have created dozens of projects, the one I am best known for is the Phoenix Blanket…
and this lead to me selling my crochet designs to the point where I have a fully self-funding hobby and run an international Facebook group dedicated to my work.
When I was asked to contribute to this blog I didn’t know what sort of thing would be suitable so I jokingly asked if I should include ‘current projects, past works or my spiritual belief of how crafting could potentially save the world if done right?’. The response was ‘yes to all’ so here we go!
How I got into Crochet
3 years ago I was on a shuttle bus for work and the nurse next to me was crocheting. I asked her about it, jokingly saying I wasn’t allowed to pick up any new hobbies as I have too many already (I did a lot of drawing, jewellery making, silversmithing, and glass bead making). I was also under the misconception that crochet was the same thing as knitting (shhhhh I know that’s wrong now) and the nurse corrected me and told me that it was so easy to make little squares to join into a blanket. Against my brain’s better judgement I found my car pulling into the Bicester Hobbycraft and the rest is history!
I have already mentioned my Phoenix Rising blanket which was a complete labour of love, made for my best friend who had pestered me for a year that I hadn’t made her anything yet. I must have spent 100 hours making this piece on top of the hours designing it. I shared this with various crochet groups and after much encouragement I formed my own group where I shared my pattern.
Having this Facebook group opened up a completely new world for me! I am the type of person who LOVES to make things….once. I rarely repeat projects so the many suggestions of ‘you should sell these online’ (I know you have all heard this a fair few times as fellow crafters, I probably have suggested it to you myself) were met with me recoiling in horror. However, the thought of writing up the design once and allowing other people to purchase and make the same thing I have created, was infinitely more appealing. I have now run three completed crochet-A-Longs, started my fourth in March 2020, and launched my 9th pattern for sale in February 2020.
This is on top of my day to day projects that I play around with all the time. I am now fully funding this passion of mine and cannot wait to see if I can continue to expand what I do.
My head is with so many ideas right now I can’t even begin to tell you what I am working on. But the hints I will give are: Maori, whales, running wolves, stained glass, galaxies, Doctor Who and Harry Potter….not all in the same project. Keep your eyes open for what I’m playing with when you see me next!
My spiritual belief of how crafting could potentially save the world if done right:
Okay so I don’t have the answers to this…yet. But I do have some philosophies about what I do and how I approach the hobbies that I love. Feel free to ignore this as self-help mumbo jumbo or choose to have a peek inside this tangle of a brain! There are a couple of main philosophies that I believe in and tell people whenever they are doubting themselves and hating what they are doing. The most important of these is: ‘F*ck it, do what you love’.
F*ck it, do what you love! This is an excellent book by John. C. Parkin which is something I aspire to live by. The gist is that you should conspire and work to create a life for yourself based around doing something you love. I LOVE to make things for friends and family, I LOVE to design and mentor, I LOVE to innovate. Crochet is a skill I picked up which allows me to design and make things for the people I love PLUS I can share my designs with others and teach and encourage learning of new techniques. This has become a more important part of my life and is becoming a more financially viable hobby.
Things I have yet to address is I LOVE to travel and I LOVE lecture theatre style teaching and workshops. One day perhaps I will find a way to integrate crochet with my love of travel and teaching. I’ve heard that there are Crochet Cruises….maybe I need to work on becoming an instructor for that…
I know there are a lot of barriers that people see between their position now and where they want to be, doing what they love. Time, money, skills, resources are just the basic ones. This is where patience comes in and looking for alternative solutions. I have already told you I love innovation. I love the concept of it and the mind set people use to innovate. For me this is how I have ended up making money from my hobby. I said F*ck it, what’s the worst that could happen? F*ck it, why can’t I make money doing something I love? F*ck it, who is stopping me other than me? So yes, I am working, I am creating, and I am building a name for myself which is associated with art. F*ck it, I’m doing what I love!