Sunday, March 6, 2011

For the love of crochet

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The promise of this is almost my favorite part. Possibly it’s a direct result of my inherent impatience, my tendency to want to start something Right Now, but I just love going into the scraps basket and pulling together enough leftovers, enough stray bits, to put together a new blanket. I know it probably means I have way too much yarn (I can hear my husband snickering, because he’s thinking, Well, YES, obviously! Too much yarn, indeed!) and of course, I bought it all originally (on sale! Some of this was two bucks a ball! Excuses…) so it’s not as if I’m getting anything for free, but really, much of what you see up there is leftover from something else. A lot of it is also thrifted, at twenty-five or fifty cents a ball, somebody else’s leftovers.

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So it feels pretty good to turn what is essentially a pile of nothing into these. Truly, what can be more satisfying? This is what I love about quilts, too, more on that another day.

My mother taught me to crochet when I was a girl in the 1970’s. She’s very crafty, my mom, and has made her share of macrame belts and plant hangers and needlepoint pillow covers, and I just soaked all that in back then, just watched her hook or needle flying, turning a ball of garden twine into something you could wear and look like Laurie Partridge, and I just thought, Man, that’s me. She had this kit to crochet a huge blanket that had openwork squares alternating with solid panels that she then had to cross stitch with some orange and yellow and brown flowers, and I looked at all that yarn, and was so jealous. It took her forever to finish it, but she did. A Big Project is one of the best things ever in this crafting life. We had that blanket our whole lives. She may have it still.

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Lately I have thought of myself as a knitter who also sews and makes other things too, and I did go through the thing where I thought of crochet as knitting’s red-headed stepchild, but picking up a hook and turning string into granny squares is me, the real me. There is just something about it that feels like home. My mother didn’t knit, my grandmother didn’t knit—I came to knitting on my own, later. Crochet is built in.