Tuesday, April 24, 2007

On Crochet...

When I was a little girl, my mom and my grandma taught me how to crochet. I can remember hooking loops together to make endless scarves over summer vacations. I don't have any of those scarves myself, but I will bet you money that my my mom has some packed away in a box somewhere, probably never to see the light of day again in this millenium. Just the knowing that they are there is enough to satisfy her.

Since crocheting came easy to me, I of course was fascinated by knitting. Ironically, I didn't learn to knit until after my 30th birthday. The crochet hooks were long put away well before I turned 10. Paper crafting took the place of the needle arts until the knitting bug hit me. Hard.

For some reason, I regarded crocheting as the black sheep of the needle arts. Probably because it's so simple. You tend to place value on those things that don't come easy.

If a knitting pattern called for a crochet edge, I passed it by. I'm sure I could pick up the skillz again if I wanted to, but who has the time?

I taught my mom to knit a couple years ago, and she's very content to stay in the squares and rectangles area of scarves and blankets. Sl1,K2tog,PSSO? Not for this lady. She crochets circles (literally) around everything, but she's happy to leave her knitting squared.

Now comes the reason why I love test knitting. I'm usually assigned a project, yarn color, or technique that I otherwise wouldn't have looked twice at. And I haven't been disappointed yet by what I've tried.

But then Knit Picks assigns a (still secret for now) project to me that requires a crochet edge. Oh nooooooooooooooo! My first thought was "how can I get around this?" The answer was that I couldn't. Enter my mom, who was in town for the knitting guild's shop hop.

"Mommy, can you teach me how to crochet again?"

You should have seen this woman's face light up, as if she had won the lottery. I liken it to my Girlie, who has confided to me that it's not really her thing (sob!) asking me the same thing about knitting.

So we sat down at the kitchen counter with a pot of tea and warm cookies fresh from the oven, me all thumbs, my mom going through it just one more time about 20 times, with my grandpa giggling at our silliness in the background.

And I sat back in my mind and thought, what a precious moment. These don't come often enough anymore with my whole family scattered to the four winds. We've lost so much, immeasurable loss, yet we can find happiness in the simple act of hooking loops together; a shared purpose. My heart was full.

And I learned to crochet again. This time not at my mother's knee, but by her side.


SJ said...

What a sweet story! I can picture the three generations, sitting at a table around a pot of tea and some yarn.

I've been meaning to ask you for a while (yes, I've been lurking), how did you become a test knitter for Knit Picks?

Mamma said...

I am always touched by your quiet grace. That will always be a cherished memory.

Jennifer said...

Thank you for sharing this lovely story! My mom taught me how to knit, and I have very good memories of this time with her. We keep adding to the memories through knitting together, and going to fiberfests and LYS. It's so nice to share interests with mom. I hope to have the same sharing with my own children.

Kim said...

That is tremendous. All of you will remember that day --- the best memories truly are of the smallish things.

Angela Martínez said...

You sure do know how to tug at someone's heart, don't you? This was so sweet to read. I hope you have many, many more such moments with your family.

And congrats on re-learning how to crochet. It's something I'd like to do someday so that I'll stop shying away from mixed patterns.

spinningmom said...

That's such a great mental picture thanks! Trish at Tanglewood Fiber Creations

tempe said...

Such a great story! Thanks!
I too was wondering about how you became a test knitter.