The other day I was on the bus, working on one of Celeste's City Girl Caps (of which I've made probably two dozen so far), and a lady came and sat down next to me, although many of the seats were empty. She said she just wanted to watch me, said she had noticed me before but someone else was sitting next to me and talking to me.
She said she was a crocheter too, but had only ever made blankets. She said she was intimidated by anything that wasn't a big flat rectangle, a sentiment I certainly understand and only recently got over. I avoided making hats for years, mostly because Susanne, my roommate at the time we both rediscovered crochet, tried to make ski caps for herself and her beau, and they kept coming out with this weird pointy, nipply looking thing at the top, and neither of us could figure out with the heck was going on. (I can't remember if she finally figured it out or just bought a bulkier yarn so it wasn't all that noticeable any more haha). So I was intimidated, certain that I was destined to a life of scarves with (accidentally) wavy edges.
And then a couple of years ago, when I first moved to DC, I found myself in dire need of a warm hat. I had moved in the summer, me and Aaron both squeezing everything we owned in the world into the backseat of my tiny car and driving across country. Somehow, in June, with limited space, my winter clothing just did not seem like a priority. And DC summers will make you believe that there is no such thing as snowflakes and icicles, and that you will in fact die in sweltering agony before you ever see another below-90-degree day. And yet, winter did in fact arrive that year. A cold one too. So I grabbed some black yarn I had laying around, found a non-scary looking pattern, gulped down my fear, and began. And in a day or two...a hat! And I put it on, and it looked like...a hat! It was round on top and came down the sides. It had a little cuff that you could turn up or pull down over your ears. And it fitted to my head. And it looked like...a hat! I was unbelievably excited. I wore it around the apartment and couldn't stop looking in the mirror. I also couldn't stop saying things like, "It looks like a hat!", which I'm sure Aaron thought was just fantastic. I was seriously stoked.
That was the first non-flat-rectangle thing I've ever made, and if I hadn't gotten over my hat-making fear I'm pretty sure I never would have been able to attempt sweaters or anything else for that matter. So when the lady on the bus said that she was afraid, I told her not to be. I showed her what I was doing, and she admitted she thought she could figure it out. I told her I had gotten the pattern off the internet for free, and that there were a ton of free patterns and the yarn was cheap, so it's really a no-lose situation. And I showed her an example of a finished City Girl Cap, and she gaped and said, "All right, that's it, I'm gonna go look on the internet as soon as I get home."
YAY! You go girl!