An Intertwined Fate - My Crocheting Beginnings

Posted by Estelle Wong on


Sleepless nights and heaps of assignments are the common sightings of a student seeking education within the Singapore academic system. This was even more true for me, who was matriculated into the Nanyang School of Fine Arts (NAFA). For someone that isn't the role model or the disciplined comparison that your parents would refer to, art is where I found my peace.

But my path isn't as smooth as what I'd expected it to be. It was during my second year of NAFA that I've was struck down by a life-threatening illness that required me to stop school for more than a month. Understanding the harsh reality of life, my academics didn't come to a halt even as I paused everything else to fight my condition, and this resulted in an unsurpassable amount of assignments/exams that I needed to catch up on. And it was at this first crossroad in my life, I've made the painful decision to leave NAFA instead of restarting everything again.

My life was pretty much uphill from then on, I struggle to find meaning and direction. Simply put, I was lost. And while I was trying to find my next step, I chanced upon my mom crocheting a bag. To be fair, she has been crocheting for years but I've never paid heed to her.
Out of curiosity, I approached and asked her to share with me what crocheting is all about.


I was captivated by crochet, fascinated by how a single thread can transform into a multitude of works of art.

This was both a new journey and a haven for me. For someone that was still stricken by fear, afraid that my illness will recur, I found refuge in crocheting, knitting my fears away. I then dived into books and researched crochet techniques and guides to further hone my craft (youtube didn't exist then) and as I get better, I began doing custom orders in carousell (the good old early days). However, back then the appreciation and acknowledgment for handmade goods were quite dreadful, plus the societal pressure to find a "real job", I decided to pursue a childhood dream of mine, being an Air-stewardess.

Soaring within the cloud was a memorable experience for me but one thing that I've realized is that I've always held on to the crocheting hooks this entire time. Crocheting has still and always been my go-to whenever I was feeling lonely or depressed overseas. After two exhausting years of flying, as I was unable to find meaning in my job, I made yet another difficult decision, to quit...

Although many may see it as a waste of time, I beg to differ as I've finally found my calling.

Finding one's purpose and mission in life is an age-old question that many still seek today, hence, I count myself lucky that I am able to find mine.

A path I can call my own.

Yet, my true blessing is not that I've found my calling but that I've always had some people around me that continuously push and support me in my every endeavor. Hence, this time, I will stay true and pursue my dream in an attempt to not only lead a fulfilling life but to also repay those that have given me a helping hand during my lowest.

Being in Singapore is a double-edged sword because even though the nation advances into a first-world, first-class society, the appreciation for handicraft did not follow close behind. Crochet is and always has been an ambitious and arduous path, but I am fortunate to not be alone, I have the support and backing of my loved ones on my back, pushing me on.

I've made many mistakes, turns, and detours throughout my journey, but in the end, I've found my path. Yes, it is not the most beautiful or intriguing one but it is mine.

This is my journey, what's yours?

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