The Crochet Critters Provide Some Happiness For Dickinson

It is so easy to get caught up in the negativity of everyday life. From people complaining on Yik Yak to stress and pressure from schoolwork and the loneliness of being away from home, there is a mental health crisis affecting students across campus. However, there are some students around, lurking in the shadows, pushing back and trying to change this.

As a semi-counterculturist and goodness spreading movement, a new trend of leaving handmade critters around campus has emerged. The first person to leave a creature has been nicknamed “Crochet Girl,” and she anonymously left her first creation at the beginning of the 2023 Spring semester. Since then, she has gone on to leave many more crochet figures and has slowly built up a supply of cute animals to leave around campus.

Crochet Girl said that she just learned to crochet over winter break and decided to leave her first creation on campus in response to the negativity she was seeing all around. She was inspired by “Yarn Bombing,” a contemporary textile arts trend of leaving public objects wrapped in crochet. 

She was hoping that it could maybe make someone happy and make their day a little better. She was not sure if anyone would care, but she ultimately received an overwhelmingly positive reaction from the Dickinson community on social media. She continued to make more creatures, not knowing the vast impact she would soon leave on Dickinson. 

This kind spirit of dedicating herself to spreading happiness does not just stop at her crocheting. She actually started teaching herself to crochet as a creative outlet after the hard shifts she would have at work. Over break, she worked for a mental health crisis hotline — which is a truly tiring task — but one that changes the lives of so many. 

The Dickinson community has warmly embraced Crochet Girl and she has become a some-what notorious figure in campus conversations. She is grateful to have such a supportive community behind her. Some have offered to help with buying yarn and other supplies or to support her efforts in many other ways. 

In addition to the love she has felt, she also shared about how it is strange to overhear people talking about her. Whether it be students talking on campus or some strange things written about her on YikYak, she is able to listen to it and pass by anonymously. She explained that she wishes to remain anonymous because she does not want to take away from the movement by centering it on herself. She quite nobly said that being anonymous means that anyone on campus can relate to her, not just people who see aspects of themselves represented by her. 

Crochet Girl has also inspired other creatives to follow in her footsteps. There are other crocheters and even a felter (known as @dsonfeltingfriends on Instagram) who leave their handcrafted items for students to find. It is exciting to watch as this crafty movement grows and others join in to make the small acts of kindness more mainstream. 

As for the future, Crochet Girl plans to keep doing what she’s doing. She has many ideas in the works for new things to crochet and wants to continue leaving them as long as people continue wanting to find them. You can follow Crochet Girl on Instagram (@dsoncrochetambush) to keep up with her, and maybe consider what acts of service you could do to make our campus a better place.