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Thursday, November 17, 2011

"Someday, When I Grow Up... " Why I Crochet

Someday I want to be a "REAL" crochet designer. One who can spout yardages and gauges like times tables.  Like the ones I admired as a young woman, whose intricate patterns I struggled to follow, stitch by stitch, until the magic materialized and their work was replicated once more in the world.

A Josie Rabier design – one of the last patterns
 I was able to crochet  before I developed eyesight
problems. I'm still proud of this one! 
Alice Brooks, Laura Wheeler, Elizabeth Hiddleson... those girls made every end table in America a special display gallery for their work.  Every pillowcase from San Francisco to Boston lovingly edged by someone who needed to keep her hands busy while Dear Husband was off to poker night with the boys.

As a young crocheter I'd spend hours just gazing at their booklets, the black and white pictures of Hiddleson especially. They were, and still are, like eye candy for my soul.  I'm convinced it's the reason so many of us collect patterns we know we will never have time to complete in several lifetimes! It's why we snipped magazine patterns and lovingly glued them into notebooks before the Internet existed. And magazines with crochet in them - what a concept! My stack of ancient Workbaskets is among my most highly treasured possessions. I made the rose doily on the cover of this Workbasket, which belonged to my late mom Izzy, for at least two other people, plus a couple for myself. Mama made this exact same doily for many of her friends and family, which is probably one reason I fell in love with it too! I would give almost anything to have one of her rose doilies! But she never kept one for herself.

There is just something about crochet that is so beautiful... so hard to explain, as I'm trying to do here and not finding adequate words.  It... fixes me.  Yup, that's it. Crochet fixes me. And now it is even more precious to me as my stupid body tries slowly, inexorably to take it away with eyesight and arthritis.


It can be any upset, real or imagined... I could be crying my heart out one minute, pick up a crochet hook, and 15 minutes later my tears have dried and the world is on its way back to level.  Pain? With four back, two hip and one knee surgeries, you be the judge... but yes, I know pain... and crochet is how I have survived it since 1994 when my back decided to betray me. It takes me to some place, some zone, where I don't think about the pain somehow.  For years I've heard the old saying that if you have a headache and go to see a movie, the headache disappears... I'm sure it's the same concept.  Somehow the part of the brain that makes you feel pain gets blocked by the part that does creative things. Whatever, I'm grateful!

So next time you are upset, or bored, or in pain, or anything else is rocking your world, grab your stash of crochet magazines or pattern books and spend some quality time. You'll feel better, and you may just end up replicating another masterpiece yourself!

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