Learning to Crochet

My work at the women’s center has recently been put on hold due to some construction in my classroom. But this means that I get to sit and hang out with the women instead of teaching, which is something I’ve actually been enjoying much more. Plus it means I’ve finally gotten a chance to do something I’ve been wanting to do all year – learn how to crochet the Moroccan way!

I’d been working one a couple things at home to sharpen up my skills so that when I started learning in front of the women I wouldn’t look like a total idiot. The first time I went to sit with them, I brought a hat in that I’d been working on. They were fascinated by it – not by the pattern, but by the size of my crochet hook and of the yarn. Check out this picture:

The ones I got in America are on the left; the ones I got here are on the right

The ones I got in America are on the left; the ones I got here are on the right

You can see that the standard Moroccan stuff is waaaaay smaller than what I was using. They all wanted to try my American supplies out, so I taught them the stitch I was doing and my hat got passed around for the rest of the afternoon – they finished about a quarter of it for me!

Hat! Finished with thanks to about 5 other women who helped me.

Hat! Finished with thanks to about 5 other women who helped me.

It’s a very communal atmosphere there – everyone lends out their supplies for others to practice with, and those who know a skill teach it to everyone else. It’s a stark contrast to how I’d craft in the states – I was always open to learning from others but when it came to my own projects, I wanted to be the one to do them.

This communal crocheting is very much in tune with other communal aspects of the culture here – like how people should never have to sleep in a house alone (which people always remind me of when Matt’s traveling) or how doing any activities alone is considered kind of sad. I had a hard time with that during homestay, when I’d want to read but didn’t want to have to explain it to my host family. I was a little wary of sharing my crocheting at first, but it all turned out well. And now that my hat is done I get to start learning how to use those small hooks – here’s to hoping I don’t look like a total noob when I go in there today!

— Cori