Hello Kitty

Like I said in my earlier post, there are times when I long to be completely alone. To feel that freedom to do whatever I want, when I want and not feel an ounce of obligation or guilt. No alarm clocks, no cell phones, no facebook… just my own devices. Carving out this time has proven difficult given my inability to say no. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t say yes really wishing I could say no. I say yes to things because I want to do everything. However, in times like these I need to retreat and since my desert island (complete with limitless nachos) is currently unattainable at the moment, I have turned to the next best thing… crocheting. I remember the first time I crocheted. I was at my grandma’s house and she made chicken sandwiches with butter, salt and pepper on wheat bread. We had baked pears for dessert and then it was time to get down to business. I used to say my grandma was the smartest woman in the world, and now that I’ve met a lot more people and done a lot more things, I’m still pretty convinced it’s true. I was probably about 11 or 12 then, but to my grandma, I was her student. We sat side by side on her creamy floral couch and she walked me step by step how to make a granny square. If I made a mistake, she wouldn’t let it slide like some grandma’s might do, but instead firmly correct me and make me do it again. I seemed to get the overall gist of things, but it was the precision that I lacked. I would go through a row and my grandma would look over my shoulder and point out places where my tension was loose. I remember at one point, she seemed a bit agitated that I wasn’t getting it, so came from behind and guided my hands through the motions repeating the steps clearly in my ear. She wanted to see me succeed and know how to do something well. Her blankets were things of art. Often my family and I would walk in to find an M’s game on with what looked like a piece of art lying on her lap. She had choreographed the motions so perfectly that the blanket practically wove itself. Periodically, she would look down, but for the most part, her eyes were glued to the screen cheering on Edgar Martinez or boo’ing that darn ump. (While the M’s were at bat, silence wasn’t required, but for your safety it was probably best you didn’t speak.)

Anyways, after my grandma taught me, I didn’t really pick it up after that. I had perfected the granny square, submitted them to the King County fair, won some ribbons and that was about it. When my grandma passed away, I really didn’t care to pick it up again. I started knitting in college and made half a dozen scarves and then decided that a person can only wear so many scarves that they make themself. One day, my best friend Heather had told me she was working on a project. She was crocheting a blanket. I figured it was time to dust off the old H sized hook and get back into the swing of things. Now, if you know me at all, I don’t really believe in “Beginner Level.” To be honest, I find it somewhat insulting. You don’t think I’m smart enough to try something harder? So I was thumbing through Anna’s book of patterns and found a blanket I thought looked somewhat simple, but not so easy that anyone could do it. It said I needed five pounds of yarn which I thought seemed a bit much, but I wasn’t about to deviate. So I bought the five pounds and rolled it into the biggest ball of yarn you’ve ever seen. Seriously… no joke. It was so big in fact, when I brought it to Jess’s house, my dear friend Yuna named the ball of yarn Kitty.

After making Kitty I now understand why they have Beginner Level blankets. It really isn’t to undermine your intelligence… who knew? Since I was a bit rusty on how to read a pattern I just made things up as I went. If I hit a bump in the road I would keep moving. Don’t worry though, my tension was perfect. Well, after multiple bumps in the road, eight months and three more additional pounds of yarn, Kitty became a cat. It looked just like the picture… only tripled in size.

Since Kitty, I have made a few things here and there and am working on a special project. Through all these projects and cherished time with my grandma, crocheting has become my outlet. I crochet when I need to release excess energy. The thing I love about it is if you put in two hours, you can instantly see your fruits. It’s robotic and I like that too. If I’ve had a bad day, I’ll crochet a bit faster that night. If I need to process conversations or things I read, I’ll crochet a bit slower. If I’ve had a great day, I’ll hum to myself or bob my head along to the songs in my head. My mind becomes clear and for a moment, I’m on my desert island.

3 double crochets, chain 1, 3 double crochets, chain two…

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