Monday, May 3, 2010

Hangers Revisted

In my usual fashion, I have gone off the deep end for these delicious crochet-covered hangers. I saw them again at Alicia, who saw them at Posy, who saw them at Dottie Angel. They are everything I need in a project—small, quick, and thrifty—and I immediately made six, with plans to make a thousand more. (Which sounds crazy, but I have a huge hoard of these vintage wooden hangers sitting in the garage and a massive basket of worsted leftovers. Hog wild, here I come!) Alicia's are gorgeously verdant in stormy spring colors, so I followed that lead and came up with these.

I was reminded of my Aunt Lucille, who taught me to make these hanger covers back in 1977. We had a cottage on a small lake in northern Michigan, and Uncle Marion and Aunt Lucille had one too, a few doors down. Sometimes, if we all happened to be up at the lake at the same time, we'd see each other for a little fishing or, in my case, a little alleviation of the tedium of being away from the TV. Once I'd gone through all the Nancy Drew books I'd brought with me, I'd show up at their door looking for entertainment. (Now, I wonder if they thought, Oh Lord, it's her again…)

Aunt Lucille was a tiny little old lady with sparkly cat's-eye glasses and a gravelly voice. She seemed tough, and she'd once had a career, which made all the family eyebrows go up. I was scared to death of Uncle Marion, so if he was napping in the other room, I'd sit in the parlor of their cottage literally praying the whole time that he wouldn't wake up and come in with his hair all standing up and slept-on, yawning and scratching. He generously never did wake up while I was over there, and one time, Aunt Lucille was making these crochet-covered hangers.

"I want to make those! Can I make one? Can I have some yarn and a hook and a hanger?" (I'm sure she didn't have a huge stash of hangers in a box in her garage.) She gave me all the stuff and showed me the simple shell pattern, which is the easiest thing in the world to do—I did know how to crochet already, not that it would have stopped me if I hadn't—and I had, within fifteen minutes, made a hanger. It was dark blue with a light blue edging. Something about single-crocheting the two sides together was soooooo much fun! "Can I make another one? Can I have more yarn, different colors, and another hanger?" Eventually, she probably said something like, "Uh oh, is that Uncle Marion waking up from his nap?"

I can remember the yarn—Wintuk brand, probably Orlon, so shiny and sticky to work, but so soft—and I had those hangers in my closet for YEARS. In fact, until I started this story and went to look for them, I thought they were there still.