When I was a little girl (think 4 to 8 years old) my grandmothers, especially my fathers mother taught me all sorts of hand crafts. I spent happy hours at her side training my tiny fingers to hold yarn an a hook or a sewing needle so I could make something with her. Maybe this is part of why my hands itch to do something whenever I try to sit still. I learned early on the satisfaction of transmuting raw ingredients into something new.
Before she moved to New Orleans, my wonderfully talented and lovely friend Rebecca generously brought me a whole car trunk load of yarn that she couldn’t take with her. It was amazing. It was mixed up with needles and all these little bits of intricately patterned sweaters and things that she would simply sit down and knock out while carrying on a witty conversation. I have to pay close attention while doing any of this so she amazes me. This is the initial impetus for the foray into fiber crafts. I would find myself standing there, staring at an overflowing trunk full of yarn and think, “I have to do something with all of that.” So here we are now, several baby blankets and dozens of hats later I’m starting to buy yarn for specific projects and I’ve used more than half the yarn she gave me. I am totally willing to take in any stray yarn you all may have lying around.
I taught myself to knit a few years ago, and while I enjoy that it is far less forgiving than crochet, and slower, at least for me. Which is why, ever since I relearned how to crochet, my knitting has lain dormant. It’s surprisingly soothing, but means that I have an ever growing pile of hats in a city that rarely sees hat worthy weather. Keep an eye out for my upcoming Etsy page. I need this habit to pay for itself. I donated my first 30 hats to the Cancer Support Center where we attend support groups and classes. I love the idea of making a difference in our community with them. Once the store is up a portion of every sale will go to either the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, or a local charity called Bowling For Boobies.
That being said, thus far I’ve stuck to fairly simple patterns, the hats make me happy as I can make one while watching a tv show or two and have the satisfaction of completing a project in about an hour and a half. I’ve been experimenting with making up patterns for ears and in addition to the fluffy hat shown left I managed to make up some very fancy bat ears for a hat for my friend Ziggy who is super into bats. It’s been fun to play with.
A good friend asked me to look into dragon scale gloves so in the next few months I’ll be tackling that pattern whenever I have the bandwidth to absorb new information so keep an eye out for a progress report on that soon.
I’ve been spending time teaching others how to crochet lately and have developed even more respect for my grandmothers and their endless patience for tiny me. The most challenging part of doing this has to do with how to hold the yarn to keep a consistent tension in the yarn which is a big part of how you make uniform stitches. Trying to translate into words and illustrations for others how to do this thing that feels so natural because I learned it before I could write in cursive or do long division is challenging. I’m enjoying it, this week I will hopefully get the chance to have a video call with a member of my extended family and I will get to share this thing I’ve fallen in love with, with her now also. I’m looking forward to it.