Hello, I’m Thandi! I’m a 25-year-old student who uses crochet to combat anxiety. I also sometimes bake cakes and dabble at writing.
I have to admit, choosing a favourite author is nigh-on impossible for me, so I’m going to pick my top 5. In no particular order, they are Isobelle Carmody, Keira Marcos, David Weber, Terry Pratchett and Jane Austin. I’m a touch eclectic on the reading front!
So far, I write in the Harry Potter fandom, but I have a few projects ideas in other fandoms, too. Nothing published, yet, but I’m working on it.
I have a couple of stories currently under construction. One is fairly close to publishing, but I’m waffling over the ending and kind of terrified of the notion of putting it out there. People can be so mean.
This is a snippet from my nearly-ready fic, Gone in a Flash.
Getting to Gryffindor Tower was harder than they had expected, taking nearly half an hour instead of the usual ten minutes. People were running in all directions, seemingly at random, which made sneaking about undetected under the Invisibility Cloak an exercise in Constant Vigilance. They nearly ran into Hannah Abbot twice; the first time when she came barrelling around a corner at high speed, and again a few seconds later when she spun on her heel abruptly and raced back the way she’d come.
“One of us is going to have to be visible to get past the Fat Lady,” Harry muttered during a brief lull in the frantic flow of people.
“Can we risk that?” Neville returned, glancing at Harry.
“We’ll have to,” Hermione replied. “You know the Fat Lady refuses to open the portrait hole if she can’t see who she’s admitting.”
“And it’s better that it’s you and not me,” Harry pointed out as they rounded the final corner. “I’m pretty sure people will be very confused if they see me here when I’m also out there fighting.” Harry gestured to the grounds through the nearby window.
Neville conceded Harry’s point with a sigh. Neither of them suggested sending Hermione out. Beyond the fact that they needed her brain, she was fighting alongside Harry.
Neville readied himself to dart out from under the Cloak, but the portrait hole was already open. Equal parts confused and relieved, they inched closer, drawing their wands. Peering around the edge of the hole, they looked around for any sign of why the Tower’s entrance stood wide open. Seeing nothing, they cautiously clambered inside, mindful of the Cloak’s edges.
Landing on the other side with a dull thud, they froze momentarily, waiting to see if they’d been discovered. The Common Room was empty. Exchanging a worried look, they hurried across the room and up the stairs towards the sixth year boys’ dorm as quickly and quietly as they could beneath the Cloak.
“What happened in here?” Neville murmured, shocked. They were standing in the middle of the boys’ dorm, surrounded by scraps of shredded bedlinen, broken bedposts and stray feathers. It looked as though a hurricane had swept through the room.
Glancing about, Harry muttered back, “I don’t know, Nev, but I think we need to get out of here as quickly as we can.”
Neville and Hermione both nodded. Together, they picked their way cautiously across the debris-strewn floor towards Harry’s bunk. Loose feathers swirled around them, tracking their invisible progress. Unnerved by the eerie, silent disarray, they moved swiftly to Harry’s bedside.
“How do we know which bunk is Ronald’s?” Neville whispered.
“I don’t know. Maybe check all of them?” Harry suggested.
Hermione huffed. “Honestly,” she exclaimed softly. Laying her wand flat on her palm she muttered, “Point me, Ronald Weasley’s bunk.” The wand spun briefly before settling on the bunk directly to the right of Harry’s. Fortunately, that was also the last bunk in the row, so there was no confusion about which bunk it could be.
“Thanks, Hermione,” Harry murmured sheepishly.
They shuffled towards trunk at the foot of the indicated bunk, stirring feathers and fabric scraps as they went.
Their search for a single item with Ronald’s name and picture amongst his possessions was fruitless. “Now what?” Harry asked.
Hermione worried her bottom lip. “What about his bedside table?”
They moved back up the length of the bed. The gentle rise and fall of feathers was becoming nerve-wracking. The tension that had risen between them during their search of Ronald’s trunk made them feel like someone could burst in and discover them at any moment.
The drawers of the bedside table yielded nothing. They were filled with assorted sweets, broken quills, empty ink pots and several odd socks. Neville ran a frustrated hand through his hair and blew out a breath between his lips. He glanced out the window and over the grounds. The fighting looked intense.
Movement in the corner of his eye made Neville jump, startling Harry. Hermione, crouched down to look in the bottom drawer of the bedside table, almost got elbowed in the jaw by Harry when he jerked in surprise. “What?” she hissed, peering up at Harry. “What happened?”
“Sorry,” Neville muttered. “I thought I saw something move.” He gestured to the wall next to the headboard of Ronald’s four-poster.
Harry leaned forward to look more closely at the shadowy patch of wall. “That’s it!”
“What’s ‘it’?” Hermione asked, standing carefully to avoid hitting her head, either on the lip of the table or the boys’ elbows.
“There’s a newspaper clipping on the wall, I think that’s what made Neville jump. It’s got all the Weasleys in the picture with their names underneath. They won a competition and used the winnings to go on holiday to Egypt,” Harry read, squinting to make out the small print in the dim light.
“We’re assuming it’s his because it’s pinned up next to his bed?” Neville queried.
Harry and Hermione exchanged a glance. “I think we have to,” she replied. “We can’t look forever. We’ve been here for nearly six hours, if the wall clock is to be believed. That only leaves us with about five hours to find the caster in the middle of the battlefield without getting caught, cursed or killed.”
“Right.” Neville sounded slightly queasy at the thought.
Harry started trying to ease the clipping off the wall, but it resisted. “It’s stuck.”
“Probably a sticking charm,” Hermione answered. “Try a finite.”
Harry muttered the spell. The picture popped free of the wall and fluttered to the floor. He swore softly, crouching down to retrieve the wayward item. Visibility was less than optimal, so when Harry reached out a hand to pick it up, he accidentally crumpled the clipping.
“Careful!” Neville hissed, hearing the tell-tale crunch.
“I know!” Harry snapped back, as he carefully stood with the newspaper clipping grasped in his hand.
“Come on, we have it, let’s go,” Hermione whispered fiercely. “The sooner we get back to the Room… Wait, no, we can’t go back there now. It’s on fire.” She shared a horrified look with Harry.
Neville stared at them both beneath the Cloak. “On fire?! What are we going to do? We can’t stay here. How are we going to avoid everyone?”
“Stop panicking! We’ll go to the Honeydukes passageway. We can stay there until we go back to the future,” said Harry, sharing a small grin with Hermione. “I’m pretty sure no-one used it to get in or out, so we should be fine there.”
I learned to crochet while I was at work. The mother of a colleague came in with a crochet project and taught me while we waited for our respective lifts for finish work. I started out with cotton thread and a 3.75mm hook that was way too large for it. I made drunk cobwebs. They’re greenish-blue and my mother keeps them as coasters.
I eventually mastered the fine art of granny squares when I stopped trying to crochet right-handed. I should have know, really. I knit left-handed, too, even though I write with my right hand. *shrugs*
Once I got the hang of it, I branched out into other things, like bags and hats. Crochet shopping bags are surprisingly stretchy and hold a heck of a lot of stuff! Just make sure you have a fabric bag for small items or else they’ll fall out the sides. I got the pattern for the hats out of a set of crochet on the go cards and gave the end result to my sister.
I made a shawl for my mother using a pattern I got while it was free, but is now available for purchase here for $5.50. The pattern was fairly easy to follow, but probably a little bit ambitious for someone who had previously only made granny squares, hats and bags. It took a long time, but the result is lovely. I’m still waiting for the hot summer weather to arrive so I can block it properly.
My current project is a corner-to-corner baby blanket with a dragonfly motif. It’s a free pattern that can be found here. Credit to the creator, it is very easy to follow and absolutely lovely to make. I chose to use a single colour for my blanket and the dragonflies still look amazing.
On a personal level, I find crochet soothing, almost to the point of meditative. Once I get a good rhythm going, I can sit back and just breathe as a project comes together. It comes in handy when I’m anxious because it helps me to refocus and de-escalate without causing me additional stress. I don’t mind unravelling back to fix a mistake, either. Pulling the stitches apart is kind of cathartic, sometimes.
Anyway, I think I’ve probably rambled on long enough! Thank you for sticking with me and thank you to Karin for inviting me to write a post on her wonderful blog!