A Thankful Pledge

ScannedImageI know that this is the time of year that many reflect on what they are thankful for, yet it is something that I try and remember every day. It is easy to sit down and make a list of things that you are grateful for, a time to not overlook the things we take for granted. However once a year doesn’t seem to truly make a difference in my life, I try to take stock a little more often.

Now I will not say that I have a gratitude book that I write in daily or anything, but I do focus on the simple things in life, I do not necessarily remember to tell those that make a difference in my life how much I appreciate them, but I reflect upon it…often. I think that this may be caused by my early realization of my morality. I remember growing up attending a funeral annually, sometimes more than that, and the deceased were always a variety of ages with deaths for a variety of reasons. I guess it set a foundation in me not to completely overlook the daily interactions.

I never part ways with my family without saying “I love you”, even if it is a quick run to the convenience store. I apologize when I lose my temper, even when I think I am right. I do my best to listen to all they have to say, even when my mind is racing with my “to do list”. I try and remind them that they are important to me with the simple actions in life.

With this season where everyone is listing that they are thankful for health, home, and comfort, I am thankful for these now and the everyday, and I pledge to keep the thankfulness alive daily. I only wish I could find a way to express my gratitude to those that I do not interact with daily…so maybe this is a good time to say thank you for your support in my crochet journey, it keeps me going, it inspires me, and it is so very appreciated. My wish for you is that you recognize your blessings and understand their value in your life daily.

Timeless Crochet?

ScannedImageI have always heard of the “trends in fashion” and how things become “dated”. I will say that I believed this for most of my life. However lately I have been cleaning some closets and finding some “lost” projects, and when reflecting on the time they have been tucked away I find that they may be a little timeless.
This is not to say that you cannot date crochet pieces; usually this is most accurate to date the material used. The composition of some yarns date them better then the stitches used to put them together, but I do not know if the style of crochet really goes out of fashion.


A scrap afghan created with left over baby yarn

A simple reference for this is for me is baby afghans. Since I have been crocheting for most of my life, I have created afghans for the new additions to a family since high school. I have one “go-to” pattern that I have made with the same yarn for nearly twenty years (It is Precious In Pink by Cathy Hardy from the book Afghans For All Seasons by Leisure Arts and Oxmoor House, made with Bernats Baby Coordinates Yarn). I can probably work the pattern in my sleep, and often can complete it in less than a day and a half. The size of the skein has changed since I started making it, it use to take me only 2 skeins and a dab of a third (only enough to finish the last row), while now it takes nearly the entire third skein. But that is a side effect of working a pattern so long. Why I mention this, is one day about 10 years ago, I worked up a full size afghan in a chevron pattern from the remaining “third skeins” of yarn from the baby afghans. At the time, I was able to identify 35 different skeins used, and I know that not every afghan was accounted for. The number has only increased since then, but the effect the afghan has on the recipient is the same; gratitude, and genuine warmth. Some of those “babies” are having children of their own, but the same blanket brings the same response; a proof of timeless.


My “Pneumonia Afghan”

Another project that speaks of me of the passage of time, or the lack of recognizing it, is my “pneumonia afghan” (Actually the pattern is Stitch Sampler by Jean Holzman from the book Afghans For All Seasons by Leisure Arts and Oxmoor House). It is so named by me due to the illness I had when finally finishing it (I was sick enough with walking pneumonia that the doctor only gave me 2 options: two weeks of bed rest with heavy antibiotics, or hospitalization….since I lacked health insurance I opted for the former) . To pass the time I completed this afghan with scraps I had, I have since worked this pattern many times as well, almost always with scraps. This afghan is still in my home, after, again nearly twenty years. The only reason I can date it is due to my illness, the stitch work itself is still as recognizable and noteworthy as when I first made it.
Okay, so maybe crochet is not timeless, but in my hands I do not see the time, I can only date it from the context it is worked in. So, if a piece of hand work can still be honored in your home for a quarter of a century (heck, I know people that treasure handiwork from their grandmothers, and it looks appropriate in their home as well), then maybe it is a timeless treasure. Some may only think of crochet, from the 1970’s and think that it is only representative of stiff yarns and granny squares, but if you really look around you see that it does not really have a date, not in most cases.