Life & Style

Time to get knotty with hand crocheting

Head of Crochet Now India, Himabindu Manchala preps for another hand crochet workshop which is both tactile and therapeutic

From picturesque table settings to photography ideas, Pinterest has turned us into Etsy-lovers and with a growing number of platforms for these creators, the world of hand crochet has been welcomed by those feeling chilly. The ongoing chill in Hyderabad has been uncomfortable to say the least, so enter Himabindu Manchala who’s prepared to teach you to bundle up in your own hand crochet blanket – just in time for Valentine’s Day.

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What is hand crochet? With its no-needle and no-hook technique, the use of these plushy and bulky yarns are its major pull and Himabindu agrees, “It’s honestly the softest material I’ve ever touched!”

Himabindu got fascinated by hand crochet and crochet as her grandmother had long been crocheting. It looked quite cathartic to Himabindu. Later in life, she went through a phase of stress and depression and decided to take up hand crocheting which started just a few months ago. “It acted as a stress-buster for me,” she looks back, “and I felt so relieved after trying it so that’s just how it moved forward. I saw the blankets online and wanted to source the material but saw it was not available in India at that time. After doing proper research, I ordered a few samples and I picked it up very quickly, like within a day.”

At the workshop, expect to be taught the fibre types, skein weight, thickness of the yarn and other textile requirements. The 24-year-old entrepreneur adds, “Given Valentine’s Day is coming up we’ll be using dark grey and burgundy-coloured merino wool. I want to add that I not only teach these workshops, but I also provide the yarn which is used. I’ve got a website set up for selling, too.”

CrochetNow.in sells finished makes too such as ear warmers, riders’ gloves, chunky beanies and mini bookmarks – the list goes on! The yarns range from three-ply, shiny to scrubby to soft varieties, based on what the crocheter requires.

Time to get knotty with hand crocheting

Through these workshops, Himabindu has found a lot of people who take up crocheting for the same reasons she did, be it stress, depression or break-ups. She agrees that it’s built quite a lovely community here in the city. “I want to conduct workshops all over India too, but towards other makes too. I hope for people to know more about this. Opening up the business to social media also helped me connect with people in Europe where hand crocheting is very popular. I’ve made friends with other creators in Germany and other countries, especially with the material being imported.”

Social media also opens up the possibilities of what modern and somewhat unusual makes can potentially come from hand crocheting, be it jackets or crop tops, and Himabindu is looking forward to these. She also wants to show workshop students the conversation around employment in the yarn industry as well as how this specific yarn is made, which she really finds fascinating.

Himabindu loves that hand crocheting hasn’t been boxed as purely ‘a girl thing’ either. “When I started these workshops, a lot of men would sign their mothers or sisters up but when they’d come, they got into it as well. Plus a lot of them would find it therapeutic too,” she explains.

The Hand Crochet Blanket workshop will be taking place at Workaholic Cafe in Westend Mall, Jubilee Hills on Sunday February 10 from 3pm till 6pm. The workshop costs ₹2000 with materials provided by Crochet Now. Please call +91 7981705953 for more details

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 11:21:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/crochet-now-india-himabindu-hand-crochet-workshop-valentines-day/article26192778.ece

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