The beautiful scarves in the picture heading this blog are the last projects my Grandma completed before she died. They came to me nicely folded, wrapped in protective bags, in a box that was labeled “Knit Scarves (To Give Away).” I also have a box full of baby booties in many different sizes, which is labeled with the shelter to which she donated her wares. I was able to find the contact info for the shelter and hope to donate all of her finished scarves and baby booties, as well as my own hats. I would also love to make a baby blanket, but I’m not sure I will have enough time for that without some help.
My Grandma was mainly a knitter, but she knew how to do basic crochet stitches and I asked her to teach me how when I was about 12. I cannot remember what drew me to it over knitting– I cannot even remember why I wanted to learn, other than that I have always been into arts and crafts– but I do remember that she was a good teacher, even though my first attempt at a project kept getting progressively narrower as I worked my way along. I was able to remember what she taught me 6 years later, when I decided to pick up crocheting again in college.
Crocheting seems to be the ugly, undervalued cousin of knitting. If you go into any bookstore, most of the books in the “yarn crafts” section are dedicated to knitting. I have also found that many of the yarn shops and vendors that I have visited are full of knitters, who have difficulty equating needle gauges to those of hooks. I learned how to knit when I was a senior in high school– handmade scarves were very fashionable at the time– but I found that I had little patience for it because it goes very slowly (or maybe it’s just me). I wanted to keep making scarves but without all the wait. I remembered the double and triple stitches my Grandma taught me, and I thought, “Well this seems like it would go faster!” Thus my relationship began anew with crocheting.
Most of the yarn I inherited is baby yarn. I have to admit that I rarely ever use baby yarn because it requires a skinnier hook (and therefore more time to get through a project), not to mention that there are no babies in my life. However, I want to keep true to my Grandma’s legacy and donate all of her projects and any future projects of mine made with her yarn. I am going to start small– literally: I am going to start with baby hats and booties. I would like to try making a baby blanket too, but I’m intimidated because my patience is so limited, and any previous attempt I have made ended shortly after starting.
There is one project, however, that I want to keep for myself. It is the last knitted scarf that she never finished. I like to think that my completing it will connect us somehow, even though I can never see or talk to her again– at least in this life.
However, this project is also my biggest challenge, even though it appears to be a basic stitch. I am not a knitter, and I am a perfectionist. I don’t want my stitches to be too tight or too loose. So I’m going to need to practice before I finish it. I am thinking that, next summer, I could take some classes to perfect my technique before I finish it. Or maybe I could find a fellow knitter to teach me.
As I work on other projects in the meantime, I am going to post pictures of my progress (and on occasion, instructions for replication). I am going to ask kindly that readers do NOT publish any of these instructions without my permission– that is copyright infringement. When I don’t have any progress to share, I would like to find cool examples done by others and share them here.
Finally, I would love it if others would be willing to share patterns/pictures/ideas as well. I think my Grandma would have liked knowing that she inspired others with her story.