time out for crochet

My paternal grandmother taught us (my sister and me) how to crochet when we were in grade school.  I remember the two of us sitting with Grandma, using her spare hooks, while she showed us each stitch.  Karen – two years older than me – made tight, precise single crochet stitches; each row, each stitch was the perfectly aligned twin to the previous stitch and row.  I…um…well, my rows had a tendency to shrink (I never got that whole ‘turning chain’ thing) and double stitches would pop up in a row of trebles, singles here and there and so forth.  “Oh my”, Grandma said while unraveling row after row of my attempt at a pot holder, “maybe you could learn to cook.”

Crochet had been considered a respectable past time for the women of Grandma’s family.  (Of course this skill came in quite handy during the era of greased hair styles for men – crocheted antimacassars were an attractive defense against stains.)  I am lucky to have a couple pieces of my great grandmother’s work:

Her detail and stitching blows me away.  This was done with very fine thread and super tiny hook.  Even with my new progressive lenses, I can barely count the number of stitches in just one of those chevrons.

Grandma was no slouch either:

This is one of my favorites.  I love the bright pansies.

So.  My early crocheting was not a screaming success.  I didn’t touch a hook for many years.  Then one day, decades later, I wanted to crochet again.  Dave surprised me with a gift of hooks, yarn, and a How to Crochet book.  I started crocheting the same day and haven’t stopped.  These days I do a lot of felting and the occasional afghan.  When a friend of ours announced her pregnancy, it seemed natural for me to say, “I’ll make a baby afghan.”

I launched a search for the ‘right’ pattern.  I did not want to do a typical style and finally chose to do a pattern I had found on the Lion Brand website.  I had done an afghan using this pattern for us:

I am using baby yarn and bright colors (she’s having a girl) to make it appropriate for the occasion:

I hope to have it completed by the baby shower.  (Or first birthday if I don’t get moving.)

By the way,  Karen never crocheted again.  And I did learn to cook.

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