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The phenomenon behind the needles: Mercer's fiber arts culture

Taylor Taliaferro '24 works on a crochet project on a sunny Friday afternoon on Cruz Plaza.
Taylor Taliaferro '24 works on a crochet project on a sunny Friday afternoon on Cruz Plaza.

There is a buzz around campus in the form of crocheting. The fiber art form is similar to knitting, yet different from our favorite winter knit scarves that quickly come to mind when we think yarn products.

Luis Hernandez '26 has been knitting for a few years now.

“I started knitting only a little while before the COVID lockdowns. It’s something I can do without needing my eyes so I can watch my shows or talk to someone as I work. It is also a great conversation starter,” he said.

As an avid knitting lover, Hernandez explains the large differences between knitting and crocheting.

“Knitting is more uniform than crochet, but with crochet, you can create much bigger projects because there is no limited space on the needle,” he said.

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Colorful balls of yarn fill the shelves of a local arts and craft store in Macon.

Crochet builds on itself, with each new row providing a template for the next few loops of yarn.

As a result, projects can be of designs that are more difficult to recreate with knitting. A quick search of crochet animals on Google produces numerous images of adorable creations made from a single crochet hook and some yarn. Projects like these have fueled many people’s desires to pick up the skill, one that will never go out of use.

Zainab Shaik '25 has worked on many crochet projects, such as a hat for her cousin. She loves the idea of giving to her friends and family, especially when she is able to create the gift herself through crochet.

If you’re interested in picking up a new, rewarding hobby, entry-level materials are for sale at many arts and crafts stores around Macon.

According to Shaik, practice and patience are the greatest things to remember when first starting out. As with all new skills, the results will take time but will eventually become easier after repetition. Her introduction to crocheting came when she went to a local library for free classes.

For students who can't make time outside of class to take up a new hobby, Mercer even offers a fiber arts course in the women's and gender studies department every year.

Read more: Fiber Arts at Mercer: Is it a craft or an art?

Today, there are many resources you may use to pick up the skill, many of which are online. YouTube has a plethora of beginner videos that can talk you through the steps of creating your first work of art!


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