The evermore squares
How my obsession with crochet helped me explore music and find moments of peace amidst the stress of grad school life
During quarantine, and especially during the era of Zoom classes, I became re-obsessed with crochet. I noticed that crocheting while listening to Zoom lectures helped me stay focused on the speaker instead of getting distracted by emails or other work on my computer. Having something to do with my hands gave me an outlet for pent up energy, made me more engaged, and helped me relax and create something tangible even when I needed a break from classes and research!
During MIT’s Independent Activities Period (IAP), I was back at home with my family. While at home, I listened to Taylor Swift’s quarantine albums and found myself getting engrossed in the stories she wove through her music. Inspired by the vivid imagery, I began exploring crochet as a medium for storytelling. I created a series of crochet squares, one representing each song on the album evermore by Taylor Swift (if you haven’t listened to it yet, do it now!)
I wanted to share some of my favorite squares, each one titled after a lyric from a song on the album, along with the story behind each square about how and why I chose each pattern and color scheme. And in case you want to make any of these squares yourself, you can also see my Youtube playlist of all the crochet tutorial videos I used for this project here!
The overall wall hanging at the end
the more that you say, the less I know (“willow” square)
The inspiration for this project came from a crochet pattern called a willow square. The somber color with the vibrant mesh pattern encapsulates how I feel about this song. I love this melody and listen to the song over and over, but the lyrics always give me pause.
begging for footnotes in the story of your life (“tolerate it” square)
This song is our heartbreaking track 5 and it’s blue without a doubt. It’s all about watching your relationship fall apart like sand through your fingers and trying to cling to it but realizing your efforts are futile. The pattern is made up of fan-like shapes in between “windows”, which felt appropriate: admiring someone with artificial distance between you, loving them and seeing their every move and not being able to do anything about it.
este’s sister’s gonna swear she was with me (“no body no crime” square)
I’m obsessed with this song and this square and you can see the details of it so much better now that it’s been blocked (which is a term for using water to stretch your piece to the right size and shape). The ombre of this wool is perfect, the middle is a white spider web of lies ringed by all that is dark, mysterious, and deadly. The pattern felt witchy, which represents the devious crimes in the song, but it is also floral, which I’ve used as a symbol for friendship throughout the album (and it doesn’t get much stronger than the friendship in this song!)
forever is the sweetest con (“cowboy like me” square)
This might be my favorite song on the album…I think it’s so beautiful and I want it to be turned into a movie. I’ve got the star in the middle for the cowboy imagery and because of the “eyes full of stars” lyric. The edges are more delicate and lacy, showing the evolution of the story and how something that initially seemed fake and tacky turned into something magical and beautiful. Pink is underrated and so is this love song.
no more keepin’ score (“long story short” square)
This is such a fun song and is the only pattern I did that is inspired by the rhythm of the song rather than the actual lyrics. The bits where the rhythm goes in trios: bad ti-ime, wrong gu-uy, etc. made me think of the radiating pattern we see in this square. The bright green of this square represents the joyful new beginnings that this song talks about, like new buds pushing up in the spring.
should’ve kept every grocery store receipt (“marjorie” square)
This is the most special square I’ve made. All the yarn from this project came from a family that lost a beloved crafter suddenly and recently. Their house was still full of crafting supplies and unfinished projects and they were kind enough to share some of them with me. “Marjorie” is a song about finding ways to keep our loved ones alive after they’re gone and that’s what I’ve tried to do here. Many of us lost people during the pandemic who made an impact on us, and this square is an homage to all of them. I chose to commemorate the crafter whose yarn I inherited by using her favorite color and using a pattern that is normally menant for a full blanket that I’ve stopped at the square size. The petals ripple out, reminding me of the ripple effect we can each have on the people around us, sometimes without ever knowing it.
Since the conclusion of this project, crochet has become a big part of my life at MIT! I’ve joined a group chat of other fiber arts lovers called “Knit and Stitch” and I’ve completed several more projects simply by crocheting while on Zoom. Crochet has helped me tap into my creativity, unwind, and build a deeper connection with myself and the greater community. I hope this post inspires you to try crochet out too!
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