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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Rainbow Loom: the childhood hobby that led to crochet

Amy Luo

I always spent hours making bracelets with my sister on the weekends.

Carefully following the YouTube video on my dad’s phone, 7-year-old me meticulously used a crochet hook to wrap rubber bands on top of each other around my plastic loom. I had fallen in love with this bracelet making craft — appropriately named Rainbow Loom — and spent all my afternoons poring over designs and untangling rubber bands.

My experience with Rainbow Loom began the day my mom first took me to Michaels — probably a mistake on her part, as soon after, countless little colorful bands began to fill up the corners of our home. Whenever I had time after doing my second grade homework, I used our family computer to look for tutorials on making different types of bracelets. I started with learning the simple fishtail bracelet but worked my way up to the ladder bracelet and the starburst bracelet, which were my proudest achievements at the time.

Of course, weekends were filled with bracelet-making and bonding time with my family, even if my parents grew tired of helping me and my older sister move bands over the loom and buying even more rainbow bands. I spent hours working with my loom, looping white rubber bands over each other on the sides and using my favorite colors in the middle to create bracelets. Yet, I only wore my creations  once or twice before zipping them into plastic bags for storage, never to be seen again. 

Some of my favorite memories from elementary school were receiving Rainbow Loom bracelets from my friends. I treasured them endlessly (at least, for the few days before they disappeared and I had several new bracelets on hand).

Looking back now, I realize how much this activity is responsible for sparking my current love for crafts, including crochet. My interest in knitting and crochet started because Rainbow Loom kits advised me to get a crochet hook for an easier experience. 

Although I likely contributed a small percentage to environmental issues due to the sheer number of rubber bands I used, it was worth it. Coming across Rainbow Loom bracelets in random drawers and plastic storage containers always takes me back to the highs and lows of elementary school and the magical Rainbow Loom kits that accompanied me throughout my childhood journey.

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