Lucy, I love this so much and it's wonderful seeing another AoE writer inspire a personal essay.
I gave up on embroidery very quickly. I get frustrated easily.
I've crocheted and learned to knit. I haven't done it in a long time.
I completely understand what you're writing about when you say we can mess up our muscle memory by focusing too much on something. It's one of the things I loved about crocheting/knitting back when I did it. There's this ease of not thinking about it too much that feels so soothing.
I'm also not a perfect crocheter or knitter. When my stepmom taught me to crochet at 13, I ended up with a pie wedge instead of a rectangle, lol!
Your opening line is so good! I relate to this, but just kinda gave up on trying anything new. I may take your lead and try out the tutorial thing first.
My big hobby is gardening--and, I'm always learning from it. :D