Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Grandma's Legacy

I guess I was about seven when my grandma taught me to crochet. She was my primary caregiver, and she crocheted voraciously. The crocheting strengthened her hand-eye coordination after her stroke. It also eased the pain in her arthritic fingers. I was fascinated by the dancing of her crochet hook and the beautiful fabric she created out of simple yarn. I begged her to teach me. She was very patient and kind, as she was whenever I asked her to teach me something. We had our differences and frequently fought like cats and dogs, but she was a gracious and skilled teacher.

Grandma made afghans and pillows, lap robes and goofy 1970's toilet paper covers. She crocheted these silly chickens that fit over the plastic eggs that L'eggs pantyhose used to come in. She made countless lap robes that she donated to "old folks' homes" (she was the same age as the majority of these "old folks"!). She made at least one special item for each of her nine grandchildren.

Through the many moves of my adult life, my beautiful round pillow with the braided chains in variegated pink, blue, and white yarn got misplaced. I consoled myself in the knowledge that I didn't need the THING that Grandma made because she gave me a more precious gift in the SKILL to make my own things.

And then my mom did something miraculous. She pulled from her sewing room an afghan that Grandma had crocheted in the 80's. It was one of her "Indian Pattern" afghans, worked in rows and rows of single crochet, every ninth stitch a double crochet into the row beneath. Then in the next row you start your nine count a stitch earlier, so you end up with a diagonal line pattern throughout.

Grandma made this particular afghan with scrap yarn from her myriad other projects. It's very Joseph's Coat of Many Colors! It's also very cozy, and I love it! Mom gave it to me because she thought it would look fabulous on my red couch. It does.
For this picture, I covered the couch in the afghan to show off the array of colors Grandma combined. I also put the pillows I made on either end to make it more artistic and meaningful. Roxie accessorized the photo with herself, because she has to get her paws on everything I do!

The bonus miracle here is that I have a ton -- A TON!! -- of scrap yarn and had been thinking about how I wished I had this very pattern to put that yarn to work. And here comes the afghan, out of Mom's sewing room and into my arms!

So that's the news for now. Don't forget the Stitch 'n' Bitch at RPH tonight! 7:00! Bring your friends! And as always, til next time, Peace, (radical) Love, and Yarn! XOXOXO

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