Women on both sides of my family taught me needle crafts starting at a young age. Embroidery, crocheting, sewing - those all stuck. Grandma Anna attempted to teach me to knit at age 8 but I didn't quite grasp it. Maybe I'll try again soon - 42 years later.
My ancestral women also tatted, cross stitched, rug hooked and quilted. No wonder I so enjoy fabric and thread and yarns. But whereas they were very careful and meticulous, I'm really attracted to loose threads and mismatched fibers.
I've been crocheting a blanket from random left overs and donated yarns - a real mashup of fiber contents and I love it! The V stitch (dbl,ch,dbl) is probably really common, but my friend and amazing needle craft artisan Leslie gave it to me. My friend Heather who's a number person says she does V stitch with a count to 7: double crochet (1, 2, 3) chain (4) double crochet (5, 6, 7). I'm more visual so I'm always glancing down to see if I got the entire stitch.
I've been noticing crocheting a repetitive pattern is a meditation of sorts for me. Breath in, breath out, pay attention to the stitch. Then, just like in meditation, my mind wanders: I hope my son gets home safely. (dbl, ch, dbl) What's the next step in getting my divorce finalized? (dbl, ch, dbl) Oh! What a beautiful patina on that wood! (dbl,ch,dbl) Always back to the stitch.
I like the idea that I'm stitching these questions and worries and random thoughts into the fabric. As if this colorful mashup really is my life in a physical form all it's own that is unpredictable but always, always my own expression and really so beautiful.
Joann Tomsche 3/7/11