She’s Crafty!

©2016 Bookish Regards
Source: Personal Photo

I just discovered the #postaday Challenge, and decided to give it a go. 🙂

As much as I love books and all things bookish, you can’t spend all your free time doing nothing but reading. (I know, right? It was a shocking discovery for me, too, believe me.) Something I enjoy doing when I’m not lost in the bookish realm is crocheting.

A friend taught me the basics of how to crochet when I was fourteen. Or rather, she tried to. I was eager to learn, but I was not the most observant student. I remember one day I showed her some practice rows I’d been working on, and I asked her to tell me again the name of that particular stitch. She took my pitiful-looking swatch, looked it over closely, shook her head and handed it back to me with an exasperated “I don’t know what that stitch was supposed to be!” Did I mention I wasn’t the best student? Learning how to properly do the stitches was boring. I didn’t want to practice… I want to crochet a blanket! Never mind that I couldn’t tell you the difference between single and double crochet, or that I couldn’t make even the simplest granny square if my life depended on it—I wanted to make afghans. Like, NOW.

Now that you know what my earliest attempts at learning to crochet were like, I doubt you’ll be surprised to hear that over the next 25 years, I bought lots of yarn and crochet hooks and made absolutely nothing. I finally did learn how to do several stitches—properly, this time—and after many awful-looking attempts, I managed to figure out how to make those darned granny squares that gave me so much trouble. But I was nearly 40 years old before I finally completed a crocheted blanket.

My niece was expecting a baby boy, and I thought a crocheted baby blanket would be a lovely gift. I also knew that if I started it, I had to finish or I’d never forgive myself. I had a couple of bad starts, attempting patterns that were beyond my skill, but then I found it—the perfect pattern! Made up of stitches I easily knew how to do, and a new one that wasn’t too difficult to learn, I knew I’d found a winner. The way it looked really sealed the deal, though. The front of the blanket was criss-crossed with an X shaped pattern, while the back was striped. One blanket. Two looks. Excellent!

It took three or four months for me to finish it, including trimming the fringe down a bit, which was the most tedious part! But every minute of time I spent working on it, and every row of stitches I had to rip out and start over and because I’d gotten off on my stitch-counting, was all worthwhile when I gave it to my niece and saw how much she liked it.

Since then, I’ve completed a couple more afghans, and started on another one. But this one will always be special to me, not only for why I made it, but because it was the first one I ever successfully finished.

*And yes, I shamefully stole the title of a Canadian TV show called She’s Crafty for the title of my post. I couldn’t help myself… it fit so well! 😉