First things first, I am probably not your stereotypical crocheter, this is me, I am a man.
Now that that’s out of the way I’ll move on to the interesting stuff. I work full-time as a community based registered nurse, however this is not how I wish to spend the remainder of my working life. Most of us dream of spending our days doing what we love and most of us have very real barriers which prevent us from doing those things. I’m a firm believer that if you really want something then you need to get off your behind and do something about it. So I decided to start slowly removing the obstacles preventing me from living my ‘dream life’ back in November 2015
My ultimate aim is to be able to devote more of my working time to the crafts I love, to learn more about them and to earn enough money off the back of them so that my little business (if I manage to get it off the ground) becomes self supporting. I am not motivated by money and I do not expect to be financially better off, if anything I expect to be worse off financially than I am now, but that will be a small price to pay in my opinion.
Just under a year after I posted this Facebook status, a colleague brought a blanket she had crocheted in to work. I explained to her that I’d spent literally years trying to learn how to crochet and she offered to give me a lesson. Of course I took her up on her offer, but didn’t expect I’d be able to pick it up. A few weeks later she brought a small pink ball of wool and a hook in to work and within 5 minutes of the lesson starting everything clicked in to place and I was away. All the videos I’d watched, all the stitches I’d attempted to learn time and time again suddenly made sense and this little adventure began. These were the first things I made (an African flower blanket that I never completed) and then there was an 18 month wait before the start of my first proper project, as unfortunately work got in the way.
So approximately 18 months after abandoning my African flower afghan I found myself working three jobs. One full-time, one part time and one casual, all nursing jobs. The casual job had asked me to work a nightshift (I HATE nightshifts) and me being me didn't want to let them down and so I agreed to work it for them. This presented a problem. There was no way I was going to get any sleep before the nightshift, so I needed to find something to do during the day which would not use all my energy up. And what better way to while away the day than with hook and yarn? And so I measured my bed, chained 210 (+3) and started a project which would take 13 months to complete and change the course of my life in the process...
Part way through making this giant blanket I realised that if I made smaller items I would be able to see end results more quickly. And so I decided to make a baby blanket. It only took me four days and became the first thing I had ever seen through to completion! I took it in to work to show my friend and colleague (the one who had given me the five minute lesson 18 months ago) and it caught the eye of another colleague who ordered one for her soon to be born grandson. A colleague from my full-time job saw my post about my first blanket and ordered one too. This led to a fourth order followed by another six!
Bored to tears of baby blankets and V stitch I decided I'd make a little something for myself. I LOVE Christmas and so decided I would make myself a Christmas decoration. A friend had made one previously and I was so impressed that I figured one day I'd make my own. I found a pattern online, tweaked it a little to make it my own and this was the end result.
I posted this picture to Facebook, because I was proud of what I had produced! (Although looking at it now, there was a lot of room for improvement!) And within 24 hours I had to remove the post as I had received requests to make 21 more! I was now in business! I set about making them and except for a couple of late deliveries managed to get them all made to order. All were delivered in time for Christmas. This is what led to the idea of MenCrochetToo (the former name of seriously.hooked.up) and to my dream of crafting for the masses! Here are some of the colours people requested. I was not so sure about some of them, but every one turned out ok in the end!
There's a lot more to this story and I'll be filling in the gaps as we go along. I expect that I will be faced with some tough decisions and the odd leap of faith over the coming months. And I’m perhaps asking a lot of my friends and family in seeking their support whilst I tiptoe blindly into this adventure which may come to nothing in the end, but do you know what? If I don’t try I’ll never know.