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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Growing through Crochet

I can see it now, a ball of mint green yarn (possibly rug yarn from memory), and a red crochet hook. Boo-boo gave me this special ball of yarn and plastic crochet hook. Boo-boo, no..that wasn't her real name. I never knew her real name. She was a rolly polly person, as wide as she was tall. She, I think was Pam's Aunt. Ok, so now you wonder who the heck is Pam...ok, I'll start at the beginning.

I was young, grade school age, probably 7 or 8 from memory. Pam was my best friend, and she lived right next door. Boo-boo, I think was her Mother's Sister. She'd come to visit and sit and crochet, hour after hour after hour. I'm not sure she could move around well, as she was always in the rocking chair. She made dollies, lots of them. I was in awe of her making what appeared to be knots with this hook thingy. I'm sure I must have bugged her death, asking question..."what's this, why do you do that, what are you going to do next, why are you doing this...you get the picture. I remember sitting watching, staring. She probably wished this little girl would go home and leave her alone; but...one day she presented me with a ball of mint green yarn about the size of a softball and my very own red plastic crochet hook. She taught me to make a dollie. I'm sure it was..................."lovely!" Mom said so, and we all know, Mom's don't lie about such important things as kids accomplishments. lol

I think then I bugged Mom for yarn. Yarn was not in the family budget, but one day she bought me Red Heart Variegated Yarn...looked sorta Mexican, and in fact, I think I've seen this variegated since. A whole skein...all 4 oz. She bought or had (I don't remember) knitting needles. She taught me to knit and purl. I made a fabulous, stylish, and very trendy scarf. We called them half scarves in those days. They covered the ears and tied under the chin. I think she cast off for me, and she crocheted the edge and a tie. I wore that thing! Really, I wore it. I've not found any pictures in the family photo's to prove it, but I remember it.

So now, I know how to crochet and knit! A child prodigy really, all the neighbors said so.

A lady who lived several blocks-- away, within walking distance in those days anyway. Now days I'm sure people would hop in the car. Anyway, this lady, who's name I would love to know had a shop in her basement/cellar. I'm pretty sure there was an outside entrance and so, it being an older house was probably a cellar. I also remember the ceiling being really low. Somehow, I found out she had this shop. It was right next door to drug store. I'd go and look, lovingly touch and dream of making such things Some were knitting, most though I think were crocheted. She made those dolls with big dresses, afghans, baby layettes, coat hangers and so much more. I don't know how much stuff she sold in those days, but her basement cellar was a favorite place for me to go as a young girl. I think I managed to buy one or two items. Maybe she let me, cause I was there so much.

We moved away from that darling little town, and I never saw Boo-boo or the shop lady again.

Fast forward, I'm now married and hubby is going to school during the day and working full time in the evenings. I'm working full time first shift at the hospital. I had lots of alone time, I needed a hobby. I remembered back, went to the store, bought some yarn and a blue metal crochet hook size J, and one book. I struggled to get my hands right, looked at the picture..........this was long long before the internet, long before u-tube. I made an afghan after some doing. Nothing fancy, double crochet stripes, 3 colors for my Grandmother who needed a lift. They were colors that matched her furniture. I felt like I had accomplished something very special. If only Boo-boo and the shop lady could see me. I think they might like to have known, the little girl that pestered them so long ago, the little girl they took patience to teach..........remembered.

grandma's ghanI have this afghan now. Grandma is gone, Boo-boo, and I'm sure the shop lady is gone. Sadly, so is my Mother, who taught me to knit. But, I remember.

I remember this green, is about the same color as my first special ball of yarn. I've continued to grow, and so has my crochet.


  1. Great story of your needlework beginnings :)

  2. Loved your post today, Sandy! I remember a few people teaching me to crochet; one teaching me a basic chain, and one teaching me how to make a granny square, and another teaching me how to make a ripple afghan! So many memories, and those you wish you could still thank, I understand, and know... Well, your afghan is beautiful! I still have my first one, and am very protective of it!... Hope you're enjoying your weekend! ~tina

  3. Thanks for the visits and nice comments hakucho and Beansieleigh

  4. Awww What a nice story! Isn't it great to travel memory lane now and then? I always wonder about how people began their crochet journey.

  5. Thanks Sandie, I think many of us have neat stories behind our craft/passions.

  6. Great post Sandy! I'm sure everyone who taught you would be so proud to see the beautiful things you make now, and how much of an impact you make on less fortunate people with your work. I know what you mean about feeling like it's a huge accomplishment after finishing your first afghan. I made one adult sized afghan (it's 1 huge granny square with a bunch of different colors throughout) and I use it every single day. I never sleep without it! I feel like I accomplished something pretty amazing by finishing it because I usually don't have the patience to make big projects. My grandma taught me how to crochet when I was little, and I think I remember her TRYING to teach me to knit. I could double crochet in my sleep (although I never managed to make anything other than randomly shaped strips of crocheted fabric), but I never caught onto the knitting. It wasn't until I got pregnant the first time that I decided to cultivate my crochet skills. I bought Crochet for Dummies and learned how to make baby hats. I taught myself to knit from a similar book after my son was born, but that was super hard to teach myself. I love crocheting and knitting but I frequently wish my grandma was still around so I could share it with her and learn more from her. Thanks for sharing your story with us!


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