Welcome to the first instalment of our new editorial content series, #HobbiesOverHustle, where we’re encouraging you to pick up or enjoy a hobby just for fun.
For so long, we’ve been told to turn our hobbies into a side hustle — an opportunity to make more money, become famous, or even grow an Instagram following. But what’s wrong with learning a new skill or joining an online community without the end goal of making money? When did everything become a hustle, and why can’t we ever take part in something we find enjoyable without trying to find a way to profit off it?
No disrespect to those who have turned their hobbies into a career. I’m in awe of your entrepreneurial drive and I’m endlessly impressed. But right now, while the world is forced to slow down and self-isolate, I’m picking up a shiny new hobby with only one purpose — to spark joy and bring some reprieve.
I’m knitting a rug! A latch-hook rug. And with a few simple tools and a shitload of wool, I’m spending my spare time in isolation therapeutically threading a single piece of fibre through a mesh net, that after a series of many hours, will eventually resemble a soft, plush carpet.
And because I’m finding it so enjoyable, I want to tell you about it. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up with a new hobby after reading about this one, just like a few of my friends now have.
Beci Orpin’s Make & Do! craft book was the inspiration behind my latch-hook hobby. My boyfriend and I, looking for a new hobby to pick up together, spotted the book at a local homewares store and immediately started on our new endeavour with a trip to Lincraft. We took inspiration from the Melbourne artists-design (above), but drew our own pattern with different shapes and colours.
At the store, we were able to pick up just about everything necessary to get started — save the wool, which needed to be a special thickness of 14-ply and thus ordered online.
For anyone I haven’t lost yet who may be interested to get started, here’s what you’ll need and where to find it:
I’m not going to painstakingly try and explain exactly how to latch hook — a YouTube video can do a much better job without confusing you and in a fraction of the time — but you essentially move horizontally across the canvas to create rows of knots with your latch hook tool.
This is truly an easy project for anyone with a bit of patience and dexterity to undertake, but it is by no means a fast one. Creating a latch hook rug takes ages, but it is incredibly rewarding when you start to see it all come together.
If you have a short attention span and are concerned with your ability to stick it out, you could always start with a small wall-hanging like this one from HonestlyWTF or a one-sided cushion cover.
The tools and the instructions remain the same, but you’ll just need to look up additional instructions come time to pop the canvas on your desired display surface.
Right now, in day 10 of isolation and in a somewhat frightening environment I have no control over, my latch hook rug is how I’m finding a sense of calm and stillness.
For however long I’m stitching little pieces of wool to the canvas (before I start sneezing from flying particles of wool, that is), I’m able to switch off the noise and let the methodic, repetitive movements occupy my mind. It’s been a real treat, and luckily, I’m only around a third of the way through the canvas.