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.