Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Dying Art?

When a friend mentioned today that she had just finished crocheting a couple of items, it brought back a lot of memories. As far back as I can remember, I watched my grandmother, great-grandmother and mother crochet. I thought it looked so impossible to take that strange looking object in your hand, poke around with thread attached to it and end up with beautiful objects like doilies, afghans and baby clothes. I was sure it was a talent I didn’t possess and would never even try to master. But sometime in my thirties, I told my mother I’d like to learn. She was pleasantly surprised because she hoped the art wouldn’t die out of the family any time soon. All the women in her family had been talented at all kinds of handiwork. Her mother and grandmother had sewn, tatted, embroidered, and crocheted for as long as she could remember.

So when I went to her house one evening, picked up a crochet hook and bright orange yarn, my favorite color, and said, “I’m ready,” my mother showed me how to crochet a chain. That accomplished, we proceeded with the first few rounds of a granny square, and before I went home that evening, I had finished one whole granny square with her guidance. At home, I kept at it day after day – making more of the squares until I had enough to make a small afghan. My mother was shocked! With a few instructions over the phone, I was able, in the next few days, to attach the squares to each other and make a border around the whole thing ending up with what I thought was a beautiful afghan.  Looking back, I know that it was a little rough, but the point is, with very little help, I made an afghan. It was almost as if I was born knowing how to crochet. I went on to crochet everything. I made more afghans, baby blankets and booties, sweaters for my young daughters, which they loved, and pillow covers. You name it—I crocheted it!

I, like my mother, hate to see the art die out in our family but fear it will. Although I have three daughters, not one of them is interested. Unless a granddaughter decides to take it up, it will end with me in this family.
My favorite thing is baby afghans. Each grandchild has always received one from me. In recent years, there have been a few that were a little more challenging than granny squares or other easy patterns. It never mattered to me. If someone requested something special, I’d tackle it. I’d like to share a couple.

To the left is one is one of my all-time favorites: The Panda. This one was done for a grandson fifteen years ago.

Below: Made for a premature grandchild four years ago. The bright color scheme - purple and green was her mother's idea. When she requested it, I thought, "Yuck!" But it turned out pretty well.
 Then Izzy's little sister was on the way and her mother chose even brighter colors: Orange and pink!  Put on your sunglasses.

I seem to be at a standstill at this time. Perhaps it's time for another grandchild! Dani?

   (The picture at the top is a matching afghan and pillow that I made for my oldest daughter some years ago.)


betty said...

These are beautiful peggy. You are very talented. I could never do that.

Anonymous said...

you write--you play the piano and now we learn that you make beautiful things with your hands. so much talent in one placs!!!!!!!!!!!!!! said...

wow peg! you keep surprising us. these are lovely. I bet you could sell your work.

sam said...

hey peg. you do everything don't you honey? your talents seem to be limitless. sam

patti said...

Love the panda. your grandchildren are lucky. show us some more.

jeanette said...

Hard to believe anyone could make these with their hands. I don't know which one is the most beautiful. i'd like to see some more of your work peggy. Jeanette