|Best Baby Cloche, pattern by Aesthetic Nest|
|Baby It's Cold Outside, pattern by Julie Holetz|
When I was discharged from the hospital, I thought, 'hey, I know! I'll teach myself to knit and crochet while I'm stuck in bed.' So books were purchased, sets of needles and hooks, too, and then a stash of luxurious fibers in jewel tones, whereupon I proceeded to learn a lot about humility. Six weeks later, nothin'doin', as I like to say, I was blessed to be invited by a fellow parishioner to a crocheting class in her home. Her mother is our instructor. A sweet Russian lady who speaks flawless English and is an excellent tutor.
She taught us single crochet over the course of two hours. Many of the ladies from our parish joined us. It was the first time in weeks upon weeks I had been with them. I really loved being there among them listening to stories about their children and families. The goings on, the New Year's resolutions, the ups and downs. I had very few girlfriends growing up and sort of askewed female companionship in college. I really did not know what I missing. I have really come to depend on my sisters in Christ.
The above pictures are two items I managed to produce in the week and a half since that class. The cloche, crocheted in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran yarn, uses a variety of techniques (Crocheting in rounds, double crochet, half double crochet, single crochet, increasing, decreasing, shell stitch). Anytime I was stumped I was able to find a video tutorial on the great Google.
The sweater is crocheted completely in half double crochet from bulky Plymouth Hand Dyed Baby Alpaca Grande yarn. There is a single crochet border on the edges.
I found both patterns for free on Ravelry. It is a online community for knitters and crocheters. The search engine is superb. Not only can you search by pattern, but weight, yardage/meterage, source type (book, magazine, etc), gender/age/size/etc, free/purchase, and attribute/technique. Love, love, love it!
It is nice to claim this skill for my own. Though I am not anywhere close to being knowledgeable or talented. It is nice to reclaim that skill which belonged to my great-grandmother's generation and was still of great import to the women of South Texas when my father's mother was coming up. A mere nine years younger, my mother's mother, though she may have learned, as the descendant of very successful merchants and wildcatters, she placed little import on the skill.
It may have taken me more than a decade to gather my wits enough to start getting it together, but this one was one of my goals I wanted to accomplish when I set out to be a homemaker.