The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

A knotted habit

Junior Jessie Ko explains her background with crocheting and how she’s shared her hobby
Junior Jessie Ko poses with a faux bouquet of flowers she crocheted. Graphic | Samika Bhatkar

SB: Hi, my name is Samika Bhatkar and I’m here with junior Jessie Ko, one of the founders of MVHS’s new Crochet Club, who will be sharing her experience with crocheting. How long have you been doing crochet? 

JK: About six years now.  

SB: How did you get into it?

JK: So I actually started learning knitting before I started crocheting. It was about three years before I started crocheting. And I had a nanny who would knit whenever she was over at our house, and I saw her one day, and I was like, ‘Hey, can you teach me?’ She was like, ‘yeah,’ so I was knitting for about three years and then one day I just somehow found a video of crocheting and I was like, ‘I want to try that too.’ Crocheting just stuck. 

SB: Are there any challenges that come with crochet?

JK: Well, I mean, it’s really just learning to start crocheting. I think it’s very difficult, especially without some kind of guidance or something because there’s so many things that go into it, like how you hold the yarn, how you hold the hook, the tension and all that. So those are quite difficult but once you get it, you get it. 

SB: How do you think you got this thing [crochet]?  Was there another person who helped get you into it? Or did you rely on any resource to help you get into crocheting? 

JK: Tons and tons of videos. YouTube videos helped so much, but also I think it was just that I knitted beforehand, which also helped with tension and knowing some stuff about yarn, but it was definitely mainly the YouTube videos. Love them.

SB: How have your crochet skills changed over time?

JK: I’ve started being more creative and customizing some gifts. I’ve definitely been able to make them a lot faster. Yeah, that’s one of the biggest things and I think it’s really helpful.

SB: What were some of the early things you used to crochet? 

JK: I always just find random videos right and I think I’ve always loved making amigurumi so like stuffed animals. I think one of the first things I made was this elephant for my dad and then I made a mermaid kitten with a bobblehead. It was great.

SB: How does it compare to some of the things you crochet now?

JK: Well, now I turn to making more smaller, more you can put anywhere, you can put it in your car, you can put it anywhere stuff. Before I would like make this huge stuffed animal and just throw it somewhere and hope for the best.

SB: What are some of your favorite items to crochet? 

JK: Stuffed animals. 

SB: Why? 

JK: I don’t know. It’s really fun. I really liked stuffing stuff. And then stuffed animals, you know, they’re small, you can make them small, you can make them big. I think for me, it’s the easiest to make. People liked them a lot and I give all my gifts so I want to think about what people want. 

SB: How does crochet fit into your life?

JK: Well, I mean, I do it every day. Well, I try. I try to do it every day and then it’s sort of [something] I use as a de-stressor kind of thing. If I’m getting overwhelmed with school or something, I’ll be like, ‘Okay, ten minutes, crochet as much as you want’ and then go back and hope for the best.

SB: Why did you decide to start a crochet club?

JK: Well the same year I thought of making it, two of my other friends also started crocheting as well. And then one day we got together and we started crocheting together and I was like wait, this is so fun. Having people around you just crocheting and you can just talk to them and do whatever you want. And then I was like, Wait, l let’s have more people join. And we have other friends and then it was just really fun. I was like, you know, I want to create this community of crocheters. I want to be able to teach people. 

SB: What is something you would say to someone who’s just started to crochet and is trying to get into it?

 JK: It definitely takes a lot of patience. But just take your time and you will get there. You will get there.

SB: Going back to your crochet club, how did you find other officers to help run the club?

JK: So it’s actually a funny story. All my friends who started crocheting, I told them about my idea and they’re like, ‘Okay, yeah, let’s do it. It’s so fun.’ And then another one of my friends who does know how to crochet has another group of friends who also knows how to crochet and they invited me to be an officer in their group as well. And I was like, ‘Hey, I have two other people who also know how to crochet. Can I bring them?’ and they were like, ‘Okay,’ and then on Instagram, we found another group of students who wanted to just start a crochet club as well and we were like, ‘Let’s merge that group as well.’ So it’s social media and friends.

SB: How does having friends who also crochet affect your skill set and your friendship?

JK: Well, I learned from them. One of my friends is really good at stuffing the stuffed animals, which I’m horrible at. And she really taught me how to do that and she teaches me like other techniques on how to crochet. And I think crocheting also does bring us closer because it’s just yet another thing we have in common. 

SB: About how many people are in your club?

JK: 15 to 20 people I think. 

SB: How often do you guys have meetings? 

JK: Every other week, Wednesdays in the Japanese room which is B201.

SB: What do these meetings usually entail?

JK: We make announcements and then since we’re just starting out, we want to teach people how to crochet because there are a lot of beginners in our club. So we want to teach them, you know, the basics, the fundamentals and how to crochet and then afterward, we would just be like, ‘Okay, now’s your time,’ because it’s mostly like groups of friends who come and you can join together. We’ll send an officer or two in your group, and then you can just make whatever you want or whatever the officers are working on and stuff like that.

SB: Have you seen any changes in the beginners who have come to your club and their skill set and how they crochet?

JK: I mean, we just started so we only had one meeting. But in that meeting, we did see some beginners start to make a small pattern. They made one row and then when we started, we played a video to be like, ‘Okay, if you’re able to, you can follow along. If you can’t, that’s okay. We’ll come help you.’ The beginners were like, they don’t know what to do. They’re just holding the yarn and then we  slowly went through the steps. And then they were able to make a small row but it’s still a row, you know. 

SB: What are some of your favorite things that you guys crochet together or work on together?

JK: I don’t know. Well, I mean recently, like last month or something we made like this bundle of stuffed animals to donate to a nonprofit nearby, it’s Silicon Valley Down Syndrome Network. We would just be like, Okay, you do this, I do this, I do this and then we’ll come back. We’ll put all the parts together, do whatever. We do tend to make different things like I make stuffed animals. Another one of my friends makes clothes and another person makes other stuff. I don’t like plants, flowers. But when we are able to come together like what we did with the nonprofit, it was really fun and then we’ll make different parts together and then I’ll take them all, I’ll sew them together and we’re like, ‘Oh, this is our product. This is what we made.’

SB: Do you give away like all of the things you crochet to your nonprofit and what do you do with the things you crochet?

JK: Well, I give some to the nonprofit but I also make a lot of things just for friends. I would just make them and give them out during holidays or you know finals week. I make stuff for friends and I tend to give stuff out to friends, family, nonprofits. 

SB: How do you think gifting these things that you crochet, how do you think they affect people? 

JK: I hope that makes them feel a bit happier about their day. One of the main reasons I started giving finals week gifts last year, as a sophomore, was because I was like ‘Oh hopefully this just makes it a bit better.’ You know, you’re stressing about finals, you’re studying everyday and hopefully, you know, you can look at this [crochet] and be like, ‘Hey, this is pretty nice.’

SB: Thank you for being here Jessie, it was great to understand your background with crochet and how you continue to influence and help people with it.

About the Contributor
Samika Bhatkar
Samika Bhatkar, Arts and Entertainment Editor
Samika is currently a junior and Arts & Entertainment editor for El Estoque. She loves listening to hip-hop and rap music and playing with her dog. In her free time, Samika watches NBA games or cooks Indian food with her mom.
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