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My jewelry making origin story

One of the most frequently asked questions I get as the maker and owner of a small handmade jewelry business is, "how did you get started?"

toddler Roya with her arms around both of her grandmothers
Roya & Grandmothers - not a crochet hook in sight.

My jewelry is made from both crocheted pieces and polymer clay elements. I've been obsessed with both crocheting and ceramics for about as long as I can remember...but I have no idea when I got started with crochet. I do not have a story of hours spent over skeins of yarn with my crafty grandmother, learning at the knee of a beloved older relative... One of my grandmother's lived first in Iran, then in Germany, and only spoke farsi. My other grandmother was pretty busy teaching college, highschool AND preschool. I have fond memories of both of them - but crocheting was not involved.

I have no idea how I started!

I don't remember learning how to crochet. I know I was young - because once an infuriated

two women in Renaissance garb
note the drop spindle. nothing has changed.

younger sister of mine who shall remain nameless took excruciatingly poignant revenge by cutting up a scarf I had been working on. (I will state here and now for the public record that I am sure I deserved it.) Looking at how I have learned other heritage arts, I would guess that there was no one big moment of crochet-skill acquisition. I probably dabbled in textile arts a little over the course of a lot of experiences - Girl Scouts, or watching guild weavers at the county fair, or being entranced by the drop spindles at Ren Faires.

Lots of connections over time...

That's how learning works, right? You get exposure, or see something cool and it creates a little hook in your brain. Another experience adds to it, and connects to another hook - adding deeper understanding of the world. It is, if I might be so cheesy, an awful lot like the act of crocheting itself. Stitches connected, fiber coming together, patterns emerging. I had parents who helped facilitate those moments, who paid attention to my patterns and what I gravitated towards. Who put up with my messes, and didn't pull me away from staring, entranced, at the spinners at the Ren Faire. They didn't get in the way of the connections - they left my path to learning to love crochet and other heritage arts open...even though none of us knew then where it would lead to.

So I don't know how I learned how to crochet. I don't remember where I was, who I was with, or what the soundtrack was the first time I picked up a crochet hook. Knowing me, I probably got frustrated the first few times I tried my hand at it anyway. But I think the actual story of how we learn is magical enough to make up for it.

Stay tuned for part two...the first time I did ceramics and became straight up obsessed with clay. I DO remember the first time I used a ceramics wheel...and it was an unmitigated disaster!

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