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…
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.
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…
Good for you! I never could get past the frustration. Wish I could because I think the rhythm of it would be very relaxing.
Rae, should submit this article, including photos, to specialized home/crafts magazine, It’s delightful.
Thank you! 🙂
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!
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… 😦
That’s the sort of thing that usually leads to one of my crochet droughts… Hang in there!