Mother taught me how to sew, but she never tackled crochet.
Even if she had tried to teach me how to crochet, I’m not convinced that I could have learned. Not then.
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.
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.
I failed my Christmas quest that first year, but eventually did make scarves for nearly everyone. And afghans.
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…)
This week I’m making an afghan, from a sackful of “Vanna’s Choice” yarn.
Vanna (the cat) can’t decide whether to be flattered or shocked…