Thursday, March 07, 2013

With sticks and string

You can make beautiful things.

Crocheting is one of my greatest joys in life.  It suffices the need to be creative.  To make something useful.  To keep me from being antsy.  To calm me down.  To connect me.  Crochet is my wonder drug.

I first started crocheting around the age of 6.  I say 6 because that is when my Aunt Mary came to live with us for a while after her divorce. And she crocheted. As well as did my grandmother and most of the other women on my dad's side of the family. 

There were many stops and starts in my learning process.  Reteaching myself from those little how to pamphlets you could find next to the yarn section in Wal-mart.  Remember this was all back before the internet and YouTube. Even though my relationship with crochet has been an off again on again kind of thing, it always connected me with those women.

I remember the Easter shawls and capes my Grandma Bechdoldt crocheted for my sister, cousin and I (we were the 3 youngest grand-kids and all girls).  I still have my baby ripple afghan my Aunt Mary made as well as a few more she has gifted me and my own babies with.  I love the open spaces that allow me to weave my fingers through the stitches that they hooked and twisted to become the lovely cherished heirlooms in my linen closet and at the foot of our beds.

Lately crochet has connected me with great friends (even friends who knit ;).  Friends made with very  little that initially binds us together but the sticks and string we bring to the table. But great friends none the less. Crochet makes me think of the women who taught me and the women (and a couple of guys) I've taught in my time.  In my former art teacher days, I always relished in the moment when a student realized they could draw a three dimensional object with just some gentle instruction.  It's the same when you can show someone how to crochet.  The passing on of knowledge and then who they may one day pass it on to.

Recently I've joined a small group from my church of ladies that get together and play with sticks and string.  Apart from Cyndi, who I dragged to the first meeting, I knew no one else but was thrilled to make these easy connections with new "comrades in yarn".  We have fast become a great support group for each other and all agree that we find ourselves relishing our Wednesday nights.

So, all of that said, it's true.... with sticks and strings, you can make beautiful things.  Like really awesome friends.

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