Crochet Jan 3

Mother taught me how to sew, but she never tackled crochet.

Crochet Jan 3 2s

Even if she had tried to teach me how to crochet, I’m not convinced that I could have learned. Not then.

Crochet Jan 3

I was a child of tenuous patience and headstrong temper. Our sessions at the sewing machine often deteriorated into battles of will. Mother would scowl over a poorly cut pattern or knotted seam. Start over and do it right this time. I would bristle, hurt by what felt like rejection. This is good enough for me, even if it isn’t perfect. I hurled the word “perfect” at her, a stone made of childish frustrations, and she tossed it back with the strength of a tested parent. I’m not looking for perfect, I just want you to do it again.

Lured by the unknown, and miserably bored with the exacting practice of the known, I would dig out a skein of yarn and one of her crochet needles. Teach me this. She would put them away again. I can’t remember how to do it.

Crochet Jan 3

By the time I got married, I had almost forgotten my fascination with crochet. Then I saw an afghan that my mother-in-law had made. A few years later, when my father-in-law needed heart surgery, we shared our waiting room seats with a bag of yarn and a shiny assortment of crochet needles. She taught me how to make chains and rows and squares. How to read and follow a pattern. Later, she took me shopping for yarn and helped me start my first big project. Then she laughed at my obsessive determination to make scarves for everyone I knew, plus a few afghans, all in time for Christmas.

Crochet Jan 3

I failed my Christmas quest that first year, but eventually did make scarves for nearly everyone. And afghans.

Crochet Jan 3

Like everything else, my crochet enthusiasm waxes and wanes. I’ll spend months finishing a project, then put my needles away for a year or more. Lately, in another surge of cleaning up and clearing out, I’ve been trying to use up my embarrassing mountain of yarn. (I can’t resist a yarn sale…)

Crochet Jan 3

This week I’m making an afghan, from a sackful of “Vanna’s Choice” yarn.

Crochet Jan 3

Vanna (the cat) can’t decide whether to be flattered or shocked…


8 thoughts on “Crochet

  1. lynnwyvill January 6, 2013 / 4:14 PM

    Love the photos and the story. My husband’s aunt tried to teach me to crochet. She was very patient, but at one point she gently suggested that I needed to be a bit more relaxed. My stitiches were so tight that I could barely get the hook in. I did manage to make one afghan, but then I gave up.

    • Rae Spencer January 7, 2013 / 5:24 PM

      I also tend to pull my stitches too tight, which is part of why my current project isn’t going well. I get frustrated and impatient, but so far I haven’t reached the point of giving up. It really is an addiction, for me…

      • lynnwyvill January 8, 2013 / 11:00 AM

        Good for you! I never could get past the frustration. Wish I could because I think the rhythm of it would be very relaxing.

  2. Sharon Poch January 4, 2013 / 11:43 AM

    Rae, should submit this article, including photos, to specialized home/crafts magazine, It’s delightful.

  3. delanceystewart January 4, 2013 / 7:28 AM

    I completely understand this! I go for years making nothing and then other times (like now) I pray for friends to get pregnant so that I can make tiny blankets, hats and booties!

    • Rae Spencer January 4, 2013 / 11:24 PM

      I usually enjoy it, once I get something started, but tonight’s work did not go well. I’ve sewn the same four squares at least five times, each time making different mistakes. Once I got to the seventh square before I had to tear it all out and start over again… 😦

      • delanceystewart January 7, 2013 / 9:33 AM

        That’s the sort of thing that usually leads to one of my crochet droughts… Hang in there!

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