Senior Discovers Passion for Crochet

When Wilson has free time, she channels her energy into crocheting accessories such as bucket hats. (Courtesy of Caroline Wilson for The Fordham Ram)

When Wilson has free time, she channels her energy into crocheting accessories such as bucket hats. (Courtesy of Caroline Wilson for The Fordham Ram)

Crochet was once a hobby only associated with the elderly. In the past five years, however, crocheting has had a surge of popularity among Gen Z, with many being able to find solace in the monotonous but fruitful activity. It has been hailed for its ability to keep the mind occupied in a healthy way, unlike apps such as TikTok and Instagram, which are many teenagers’ and young adults’s poison of choice. Crochet is exceptionally rewarding for those who partake: One of those people is Caroline Wilson, FCRH ’22.

Wilson never meant to start crocheting. After mindlessly buying a kit on Amazon one random night, she decided to commit and teach herself rather than return it. YouTube videos and instructional photos have been her only form of guidance, but they have taught her well; “I’ve made around three bucket hats, two bags, five tops, a beer koozie and coaster set, and my two pride and joys, a huge blanket for my boyfriend and an impossibly heavy and cute sweater for myself.”

I met Wilson when she was president of the pep band and was immediately magnetized to her excitable energy, which I felt was night and day from my own. A native of Wilton, Connecticut, my friendship with Wilson developed and deepened in part because of our shared ADHD diagnosis, which was —  including “really bad anxiety” —  the reason she began crocheting. Learning about her passion for the hobby was endearing and I felt a kinship with many of the feelings she described in her struggle with mental health.

“Crochet is just the perfect activity for someone like me,” Wilson explained. “It’s something I can creatively channel my energy into that is a quiet, productive use of time. I can create something based off a pattern or I can just make something up, all while keeping my mind busy without rotting my brain scrolling TikTok or dreading my schoolwork.”

Wilson’s feelings are not unique. I know dozens of people who have picked up hobbies to spend less time on their phones. Seemingly, Wilson has figured out a way to hack her brain, finding a newfound patience within herself from harnessing her skill, as well as severe perfectionism.

“I will literally rip out an    almost finished crochet project because I noticed the slightest discrepancy in the stitch count,” she quips, but I can tell she is serious.

Crochet is different from many other hobbies because there is a real, tangible reward at the end; hobbies like reading, rock climbing or astrology don’t result in anything so easily shown to friends or family. Crochet is a multi-step process and success can be easily measured, which is why it has garnered so much popularity in the past few years. For people like Wilson, who feel soothed and productive by time spent crocheting, it can become a healthy crutch to encourage one’s creativity.

“I can’t do reading or sudoku because when you’re finished with those things, you don’t end up with something you can touch and feel and look at,” said Wilson.

I think there is something to be learned from Wilson’s passion for crocheting. Everyone would benefit from learning to take life a little slower, a little less seriously and a little more optimistically. Maybe crocheting itself isn’t up everyone’s alley, but the mindset it requires can be shared universally.