Mary E. Latela November 16, 2015
I have my favorite crochet hook here on the desk. I’ve been holding it, and it almost speaks to me.
My Grandma taught me to crochet. I have few memories of my childhood (subject for a very long story), but I remember this well. Grandma and I were sitting on the back stairs and she was crocheting one f those fine, delicate pieces, a doily or a tablecloth. She used fine twine and a narrow needle. She made tiny perfect stitches, but she could do this while carrying on a conversation, or just sitting close.
I asked her if someday she might teach me how to crochet. And she asked, “Why not right now?”
I was thrilled to pieces!
Looking back, I supposed Grandma had looked forward to this day, to this event. She went in, pulled open one of the drawers of her sturdy Singer Sewing Machine, and took out some things. She came back with a big crochet hook and some wool yarn.
And she taught me how to do a chain stitch, and soon a single crochet, double crochet, and how to make a circle and a rectangle … all by myself. The healing power of that time together lasted …. Well, so far, a lifetime.
Many years later when I was in the midst of the “long divorce” and I was in the hospital, my parents came to see me and Mom asked if maybe I’d like to crochet something. I had not used the hook or the knitting needle for ages, because the husband thought handmade goods were second rate. I decided – right then – to make an afghan for my twin bed.
In five days – five day!!! – I completed a very fine granny square afghan of many colors for my bed. Mom and Dad supplied me with yarn, a few skeins at a time, my favorite hues – pink, purple, maroon, white, etc. I worked so fast that my fingers looked a blur as I stitched. When the blanket was finished, I lay on my bed, covered up with the new creation, and enjoyed a peaceful nap, the first in a long time.
I kept the afghan for about ten years, took it wherever I moved. One morning I work up and realized that the healing was near enough to complete that I could pass on my work. I gave the cover one last wash and dry, then sent it on to the women’s shelter.
I still crochet (and knit) and I do find comfort in the process, the rhythm, and the underlying sweet memory of my dear Grandma, who made all the difference to me. In fact I made hats for the gkids… the baby wants the hat made for the oldest child! Ha!