Crochet- needlework done with a needle having a small hook at one end for drawing the thread or yarn through intertwined loops.
Afghan- a soft woolen blanket, crocheted or knitted, usually in a geometric pattern.
Doily- any small, ornamental mat, as of embroidery or lace.
The above terms are ones I will most likely have to explain to my great grandchildren. The last one might even be a new term to some of you reading this.
It turned cold last night, so as I made my way to the office this morning I grabbed a small afghan from the living room. It’s one that I made several years ago when my hands were kept busy each night with needles and thread. It’s warming my knees and legs, but it is also reminding me that I really should make at least one small thing this winter so I don’t completely lose my skills. I’ve already forgotten most of the basics of knitting and have to re-teach myself anytime I want to make a scarf, which is essentially the only thing I could ever knit.
I was never that good at crocheting. I struggled and fought the tension of the thread. I got confused by the terms of the instructions. Gran was patient, but I didn’t become even “adequate” at crochet until I was an adult. Mom didn’t crochet much until we were grown. I doubt that she had the time before that, and Gran usually supplied anything we needed anyway. Crochet was one of her passions. Someday I will get my baby sweater out of storage and post a photo of it!
It was Karen who picked up the needles as though she was born to use them. Perhaps that is just part of her genetic package, since she is also gifted at sign language. Anyway, it makes me happy that there is someone in her generation to pass on the family tradition.
My great-grandmother also crocheted, but in her generation the pieces were more delicate. I suppose because most women also quilted there wasn’t much reason to make the afghans that Gran was so fond of creating. Bigg, as we called great-grandmother, made doilies, table runners, dresser scarves, table cloths, and bedspreads. That’s one of her doilies in the photo. I still have it on my shelf because I refuse to let it hide in the closet, even if it deteriorates with time and use. I also have a table cloth made by Gran, two of her afghans, an afghan made by Karen, and a few small “granny squares” that Mom made. I have my baby sweater and David’s baby sweater.
Gran had dozens of doilies and she could tell me a story about each one. Aunts and cousins and sisters and friends had all donated to her collection. She had doilies fashioned like flowers and some had the most fascinating designs I’ve ever seen. Tiny delicate stitches testified to hours of painstaking precision. Many were starched and ironed each week. I wasn’t allowed to iron them until after I had practiced on, and scorched, at least two dozen of Grandad’s cotton handkerchiefs! After ironing, the doilies were placed under bowls and vases and jewelry boxes and even ashtrays.
I suppose someone must still crochet, and I know knitting experienced a trendy resurgence a few years ago. There are still rows and rows of bright skeins of yarn at Hobby Lobby and WalMart. Maybe I’m the only one who has gotten lazy and let my skills get rusty. I might just need to take out my needles during Christmas break and see what I can do!
BTW- That's Hope trying to crochet with Mom.