An Interview with Self-Taught Crocheter Penelope Jennings ’22

Post by Stella Gilbert ’22

Over the summer, junior Penelope Jennings taught herself how to crochet, creating dozens of crocheted creatures for her friends and family. Penelope looked up basic stitch videos on YouTube and practiced them until they looked right and made sense to her, building her skills until she was able to make the works shown below. Check them out and read the stories behind each one!

Pair of bees

“The small bee is the first project I ever made. I had wanted to learn how to crochet for a while, but seeing people making that bee on TikTok over the summer was what finally got me to learn… I then made the big bee during election night phone banking. I had seen people using that big soft yarn on Instagram and TikTok and I was really excited to finally make a project with it.”

Two whales

“The little whale was the second or third thing I made and that was just because it was one of the first easy looking videos I found on YouTube… The big whale is one of the few projects I’ve made all in one sitting.”

Hockey players

“I made the Devils doll as a Christmas present for my dad because we’re big fans of the Devils and like watching hockey together. It’s the most complicated pattern I’ve made so far, definitely the trickiest one I’ve done with just a written pattern and no video tutorial… I showed pictures of my work to some friends and the Sabres doll was made for one of them.”

It’s been fun to see the progression in my projects just since July. I feel a lot more confident in what I’m doing and it’s a lot easier to visualize what each step of the pattern will look like when I actually complete it. Earlier I was really careful about following patterns exactly, but now I rarely follow them perfectly and feel great about modifying them to match what I want them to look like.

— Penelope Jennings, reflecting on her progress

Feel free to comment below this post and ask questions or respond to Penelope’s works!

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