I’ve always loved crochet. I can’t even remember learning, but I’ve known how to make a scarf for a long time.
As a young adult, I had a time where I was crocheting with a group of craft friends, and I got into making some baby sweaters, ponchos, and other not-rectangle things. But when that died off, I went back to mainly afghans, scarves, and washcloths.
But recently, Facebook brought to my attention a group named Random Acts of Crochet Kindness USA. (Because why would I want to see posts from groups I actually follow, Facebook?? Ahem.) I was taken in by the tiny crochet creations, many with eyes of some sort attached, smiling at me through my computer screen.
Here is the idea: you crochet small items, most tiny enough to fit in a sandwich size Ziploc baggie.
There is a huge range of items I’ve seen — everything from “worry worms” to “positive potatoes” to the very popular “emotional support chicken.” You print or write out a small poem or explanation (these cards are provided in the group, too!), put the card and the crochet gift in the baggie, and leave anonymously in a public place to be found.
The cards have the name of the Facebook group so that when people find the gifts, they can post to the group if they wish. It’s so fun to see the stories and pictures from the found projects!
I’m usually optimistic to a fault, but the last, oh, eight years have worn me down. I’m an Enneagram 9, sensitive to conflict, and living in the American political climate — while doing a lot of changing myself — has been difficult.
Do I ignore the news and hang on to any iota of peace I can find? Just focus on my family? Or do I engage, feeling everything deeply and grieving every world story of pain, injustice, and anger?
I know we all have to find our own balance here. Some of us can handle more than others, due to mental health, anxiety, and sensitivity.
I know you’ve all seen the quote from Mr. Rogers about looking for the helpers in bad situations. He was so wise. And in keeping my eyes out for the glimpses of people doing good in what feels like a falling-apart world sometimes, these little crochet chickens have brought me a lot of hope.
Some other places I find joy and hope:
- The Currently Reading podcast
- loswhit (Carlos Whittaker) on Instagram
- Ridiculous Harry Potter memes
- Reality cooking and baking shows, like The Great British Baking Show and Top Chef
- Playing every board game we own this summer (all 100 of them!)
- My kids making incredible music at ages 14 and 12