So, some of you may be seasoned crocheters and knitters.
Some of you may not be.
Some of you may be interested with experience, but haven’t really taken it upon you. If you are any of those three, this article is for you.
So, a little backstory.
When I first started knitting, I was 15. My mother wanted to try it, and I thought it fascinating. But, I didn’t really keep up with it. I made more friendship bracelets and things, always playing with string.
At 12, I was on a swim team, and began selling my friendship bracelets. They had beautiful colors, endless orders (mainly the candy stripes pattern) but there were a few hearts and arrows.
And, once I got to 14 my business had faded, and I’d fallen out of my hobby. My string liking came back once my mother introduced knitting a year later. She fell out of it fairly quickly; she didn’t really care for the needles all that much. And at first, neither did I.
I’d constantly kept her needles around, but never really took it in.
But one day, cleaning out my room, I found those shiny blue needles. They’re Susan Bates Aluminum 9mm needles. And thus began a new era; a yarn era.
And, well, I picked up needles and started to make a scarf. Youtube became my life, as I browsed endless videos about tension, gauge, how to hold the needles, different stitches, etc. It was tiring and eventually, I set down the needles.
However, the story doesn’t stop there. Two years later, I was at a Quilt Museum. I’m there regularly, and happened to be on the register. I was working on a scarf for one of my friends: It was a red and white color scarf, around christmas time. My boss didn’t really mind as long as I wasn’t neglecting those who came in. However, it was my attention to the scarf with these Blue aluminum needles that made me stick out to a woman. She had a beautiful scarf on; it was made of yarn and had an intricate pattern (what I now know as granny squares and flowers), and she called my attention to see what I was making.
“Young lady, what are you up to with those needles” She asked, waringly. The stairs must have worn her out, but she was quite the trooper. Her hair was a shiny silver and her bright green shirt just fell below her neckline.
“It’s just a scarf, for my friend. He needed a present for his mother.” I smiled up at her, getting up from the office chair behind the counter that was way too low to the ground.
“Oh, well the work is beautiful. Do you crochet?” Her teeth shone through her wrinkled lips as she placed a hand on my shoulder, as I had walked around the counter to greet her properly.
“I…do not. I’m not really sure…” I trailed off as she pointed to her scarf, rubbing her red-nailed thumb on the flowers.
“I made this. And it’s a very simple pattern, you see. You’d be good at it, those colors are beautiful together.” Her hand fell off her shoulder and went back to her purse, as her other hand went around the back of her husband, he, looking up at the quilts on the walls for sale in the shop.
“I’m not sure how to, it looks difficult and this scarf is really a one time thing.” I looked back at the scarf, and back at her.
“Well, I’ve been crocheting for years. Fourty years. But, I wouldn’t have known new patterns had it not been for Mikey. I can’t see the patterns anymore, I’m OLD!” She laughed, breathy, and it turned into a cough much quiker than I’d hoped.
“Oh are you okay?” I was concerned, how old was she? Did he need water? Regardless, I felt bad for holding her up. But I wanted to know who this mikey was. So, a compromise; I started to lead her out the door to the bench on the porch, where she could be off her feet.
“Thank you, these legs don’t work like they should, Damnit. Anyway. Mikey is one of those youtubers you all seem to be crazy about.”
“YouTube, is that so?” I questioned. I didn’t even think about it, duh. You can learn anything on there, really.
“Yes! Oh he’s wonderful. He really is. He knows how to crochet better than me, he teaches well and his voice is nice. The channel is um…the crochet something. Place? The crochet place? The crochet people. Something. Well, it’s something.” She laughed lightly. I walked around and sat down next to her.
“I’ll definitely keep that in mind. I’ve never tried crochet, but it sounds interesting.” I held her hand. What a sweet, sweet lady.
“Yes yes. And I’ve found it’s much quicker too. The things you can do with a hook…if I come back, I better see you with a hook young lady.” She laughed again, the coughs becoming heavier, drier.
Her husband took her arm “Time to go, Honey.” He smiled up at me. “Thank you for the time. You’re doing good work here. Beth here should go.”
“And I won’t keep you” I didn’t hesitate to help her up, and waved goodbye. Maybe crochet was my next project.
My semester ran onwards, endless days at the museum and class after class.
Until, one day, I was walking around wally world. Being the craft addict I was, I happened upon the yarn section. Next to the yarn section is a very nicely placed set of crochet hooks and knitting needles, along with danring needles and place makers. And, in a split decision, I picked up a set of hooks. I remembered Beth and her kind words, her attention to my little project. Maybe it was time.
And by that time, it was the end of November, and it was the week after winter break. What happened next changed my perception of yarn crafts, youtubers, and business owners, and has impacted my life since.
Want to hear part 2?
Stay tuned for the next “Storytime”: Available next week, 7/23/17 at 5pm!