Crochet your own way

Courtesy of Jensan Bauman | Jensan Bauman has been knitting, sewing and crocheting for a big part of her life. Pictured here, she's wearing a hat and sweater she made.
Hannah Stelitano | Staff Writer
Since she was young, Jensan Bauman has loved knitting, sewing and crocheting. At 10 years old, her grandma taught her to sew with simple fabrics and patterns.
She joined the knitting club in middle school where a single sock was the hardest thing she made. Since this was so difficult, she never bothered to make a second sock.
For crocheting, she never followed formal instructions or directions to learn how to create items.
“I’m really not trying to do anything extraordinary, since I’m coming up with my own ideas and patterns to follow,” Bauman said. “My goal is really to just have a wearable product in the end.”
Bauman can make almost any clothing item, but she mainly focuses on hats and scarves since they are easy and fun to make, and people can use them frequently. She said she previously attempted to make shorts a few years ago, but it was a failure.
“When I was a freshman here, I crocheted a bunch of squares and made them into a pair of shorts; they unraveled shortly after I finished them. But in my defense, I wasn’t following any kind of pattern,” Bauman said.
From this, she was able to learn that not everything comes easily. On the flip side of her shorts that failed, Bauman made a sweater with bell sleeves for a friend’s birthday gift.
She said that this sweater was the most wearable piece of clothing she  ever made and that it inspired her to make many more.
Bauman also taught herself to sew embellishment writing onto shirts. She finds interesting fabric, with a fun pattern or design, and then sews letters into it.
“I always try to do a play on their name, like abbreviate their last name or use a nickname, things like that,” Bauman said.
Her favorite thing she has ever made is a quilt. It is about five feet long by five feet wide  and  is a perfect picnic blanket. Although these are fun to make, Bauman said she followed a very strict pattern to complete them.
Her favorite item she has ever knit is a turtleneck sweater. She can visualize the patterns inside her head while making these sweaters, which is why she enjoys knitting them so much.
Although Bauman has known how to knit, sew and crochet since she was young, she did not start making and wearing these clothes until two years ago.  “If you know a few stitches or have an idea of a pattern you can really accomplish any project you set your mind to,” Bauman said, “whether it’s simple things like scarves and potholders, or more complicated things like sweaters and gloves.”
Duquesne will soon be offering a crochet club open to crochet makers at all levels. Skyler Wrubleski, president of the club which will start in the fall, said she loves the community crocheting offers her.
“I love crocheting, it’s probably my favorite hobby that I’ve done, and I thought why not create a crochet club,” Wrubleski said. “I thought this was just such a laidback, fun relaxing way to get people together that shared the same interest.”
Like Bauman, Wrubleski said she can make almost anything with crochet.
“I’ve made a couple of sweaters so far, a couple of bags,” Wrubleski said. “I love doing the Amigurumi which is just crochet plushies.”
For Valentine’s Day, she made small strawberries with smiley faces and a medium-sized red heart. She’s also made a giraffe, a squid and an animal mouse bookmark.
Her biggest reason for why she wanted to start the club is to “bring people together and start a community on campus for this hobby.”
Although the club is in its workshop stage, Wrubleski said they have a “big influx of people wanting to join.”
“We’re excited to start in September, and everybody’s welcome,” Wrubleski said.