Sunday, February 19, 2006

Single, Double, Treble



I cannot crochet to save my life.

My paternal grandmother, however, was an expert, and never without hook in hand. I was a crafty kid, into knitting and cross-stitch and macramé, but I failed at crochet. Something about regulating tension with my left hand had me in a mess, and I was always dropping the little loop, or not knowing which other loop to draw it through. My grandmother tried to teach me, but I was too impatient, too headstrong, too young. In part, I think I thought of crochet as old, for old people. I’m ashamed to remember sitting next to my grandmother on her uncut moquette couch (the same couch I’m sitting on now) bristling as she held my hands in hers and tried to guide my clumsy movements. My story isn’t one of learning from a loved elder, but of rejecting what she had to teach me. The shame of this has relegated crochet to the list of things I don’t do: competitive sport, meat-eating, crochet.

I did appreciate it however. I chose a lacy cardigan pattern that my grandmother made for me, and I’m lucky to have inherited some of her impossibly complex work. Now and then, I’ve made attempts with a large hook and a ball of string, but I haven’t quite made it over the hump.

As you know, my mother is a crafting genius, but she doesn’t crochet either. She can, however, and her first and last attempt in the mid-‘60’s was this beautiful cardigan (above left). I’ve worn it myself for years, and it doesn’t fail to attract comments.

I’m such a crochet fan, in fact, that my wedding dress was crocheted (above right). Parking the car outside the San Francisco City Hall, a meter maid asked, Did you make that? My heart sank to admit: No, but I wish I had. It’s a wonderful dress, and my grandmother would have loved it.

My only hint to my back-tack II partner last year was the item Learn To Crochet on my To Do List. Doubly lucky, Jen is both a crocheter and a Melbourne girl, so the crafting kit she made up for me includes the most valuable thing of all to a fearful beginner: private lessons. This time, I’m going to shuck off all my prejudices and preconceptions. Amigurumi: here I come.

10 Comments:

Blogger jacqueline said...

i can't crochet either...but would love to learn!

maybe when you become an expert (as i know you soon will be), i can score a few lessons!

8:19 PM  
Blogger Di said...

Ditto what Jac says!! I tried crochet some stage earlier in my life, but I can't remember how to do it really. When I work up the courage to try I'll be learning as I go!

10:15 PM  
Anonymous blair said...

My grandmother and mother also tried to teach me to crochet, and I never let it sink in. Wish, oh wish, I had of. I signed up for a crochet class this year. Finally. Your wedding dress is just beautiful.

1:54 AM  
Blogger Rhainnon said...

Someday between knitting projects I will teach myself to crochet. In the one hour I spent trying I reluctantly gave up. All the fashion magazines this Spring say crochet is hot this season. Shucks!

10:24 AM  
Blogger Meg said...

How lovely you look in the crocheted wedding dress! Some crafts I don't mind appreciating from afar; crochet is definitely one of them.

2:08 PM  
Anonymous erin said...

Jen is very, very good, and she would be the first person I would go to for crochet lessons.

I have some beautiful hooks I bought in the States, but, alas, I cannot crochet either. Keep us up to date on your progess (so I can know if there's hope for me).

7:04 PM  
Anonymous kris said...

both the dress and the cardi are GORGEOUS. lucky girl! love the wedding photo.

(i don't suppose your mum still has that cardi pattern lying around somewhere? ;-))

1:22 AM  
Anonymous Alicia said...

Shoot, I think my comment got lost. I was trying to say that that is the most adorable wedding picture in the world and the prettiest dress!!! Gosh I thought it had to be from a magazine. I love that!

9:57 AM  
Blogger sarah said...

such beautiful pictures, my mum crochets, I really must get her to teach me so that I can perhaps justify buying that lovely book in the next post...

8:40 PM  
Blogger Suse said...

that wedding photo is STUNNING

10:54 PM  

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