Wednesday, January 01, 2014

The Scarf I Didn't Make

It's the first day of 2014. This is the day when people review all they accomplished in the previous year and all they want to accomplish in the upcoming year. But this post is about something I did not do in 2013 or 2012 either. On October 22, 2012, my husband of 30 years died. I posted a few thing about it (I think). I took apart a curtain panel I was working on for him. The last bit of 2012 and through 2013 was devoid of crochet activity. Yeah, I started a few things. I have one and a half of a pair of socks done. I have almost all of a scarf done. I have scads of books and magazines and of course the internet to encourage and inspire me. But crocheting was such a huge part of my life with Craig, I abandoned it. After all, it was part of our courtship. When I was home recuperating from surgery, in the beginning of our relationship, I crocheted a small lion for him. I knew he liked lions and I was a little apprehensive about giving a man a toy. But I thought what the heck and it turned out fine - despite the "sweater curse" ;) The scarf I didn't make was going to be for Craig. I picked out the yarn (Lion Brand Homespun, the creamy white color). Soft to the touch and beautiful, I looked forward to making this scarf for Craig. I had no pattern in mind, but I would let the yarn make the decision. I almost bought it about 8 days before he died. We were at an A.C. Moore's and I was admiring the Lion Brand display. I got hit by some sort of stomach bug and we left the store without me making the purchase. I thought it wasn't a big deal. I am at A.C. Moore often enough to get the yarn. And it was mid-October, so plenty of time to crochet a scarf. Sadly, I was terribly wrong. No warning, no signs and in the blink of an eye, he died. I was (and still am) devastated by the loss of my long time cheerleader. I couldn't crochet - after all, that's what I did sitting next to him on the sofa. It was part of our life together. Besides, I couldn't crochet. My hands seemed to forget what I needed to do. I was too exhausted from work - and not sleeping. I couldn't follow a pattern to save my life. I couldn't even make up a pattern. Even the simple single crochet seemed much too complex for me to do. I'd say I had crocheters block, but this was much deeper than that. This was grief, hard, wet and cold. Extremely slowly, I began to take tiny steps away from the grief. At over a year later.....well, I don't believe anybody "gets over" the grief of losing someone. But it isn't always front and center in my head now. It's not always the first thing on my mind when I wake up in the morning and the evenings don't always end with losing Craig being the last thought on my mind. It's been a long difficult walk. Luckily I had my sons (along with Friends and family) to help me along the way. I'd like to thank everyone for their patience and love during this time period. So I have begun crocheting more now. I intend to finish up the loose ends from 2012 before jumping into a new project. And although Craig would have never used the scarf unless it was extremely cold or windy out, I regret not crocheting it. I think about the making of it. I think about Craig wearing the scarf. And here I am. I have no great insight for anyone facing grief. I'm sure you have heard all of them and their various variations long before you read this little piece. Just every once in a while, linger with your loved ones a little longer with your loved ones. It will make a world of difference to them and to you.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

not this year

Thursday, December 20, 2012

And all through the house.....

Night Before Christmas for Crocheters
Twas the Night before Christmas (for crocheters)
If you've used this poem in the past, the info is CROCHETERS CHRISTMAS EVE, Original knit version by Nancy Massaroni, 2003, rewritten (crochet version) by Dee Stanziano, 2006. If you use this poem, please give Nancy Massaroni and Dee Staniziano authors credit.


~ Nancy Massaroni adapted by Dee Stanziano ("Crocheting with Dee")

`Twas the night before Christmas and all around me
There was unfinished crocheting not under the tree,
The stockings weren´t hung by the chimney with care
`Cause the heels and the toes had not a stitch there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
But I had not finished the caps for their heads.
Dad was asleep-he was no help at all.
And the sweater for him was 6´´ too small.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I put down my hook to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash.
Tripped over my yarn and fell down in my stash.

The tangle of yarn that lay deep as the snow
Reminded me how far I still had to go.
When out on the lawn I heard such a noise,
I was sure it would wake up both Dad and the boys.

And although I was tired-my brain a bit thick,
I knew in a moment that it must be St Nick.
Yet what I heard left me very perplex-ed
For nothing I heard was what I expect-ed.

"Move Rowan! Move Patons! Move Koigu and Clover!
Move Shelridge! Move Starmore! Move Spinrite! Move over!
Lopi, don´t circle around, just stand there in line.
Pay attention you sheep and you´ll work out just fine!

I know this is hard as it´s just your first year
But I´d hate to go back to 8 tiny reindeer."
I peered over the sill. What I saw was amazing:
Eight wooly sheep on my lawn all a-grazing!

And then in a twinkle, I heard at the door
Santa´s big boots stomping on the porch floor.
I rose from my knees and got back on my feet.
As I turned around, St Nick I did meet.

He was dressed all in wool from his heat to his toe
And his clothes were hand crochet from above to below.
A bright Fair Isle sweater he wore on his back.
And his toys were all stuffed in an Aran crochet sack.

His hat was a wonder of bobbles and lace
A beautiful frame for his rosy red face.
The scarf on his neck could have stretched for a mile,
And the socks peeking over his boots were Argyle.

On the back of his mitts was an intricate cable.
And suddenly on one I spotted a small label:
"S.C." in duplicate on the cuff.
So I asked, "Hey, Nick, did YOU crochet all this stuff?"

He proudly replied, "Ho, ho, ho, yes I did.
I learned how to crochet when I was just a kid."
He was chubby and plump, a well dressed old man,
And I laughed to myself, for I´d thought up a plan.

I flashed him a grin and jumped up in the air,
And the next thing he knew, he was tied to a chair.
He spoke not a word, but looked down in his lap
Where I had laid my crochet hook and yarn for a cap.

He began then to crochet, first one cap then 2-
For the first time I thought I might really get through.
He put heels in the stockings and toes in some socks,
While I sat back drinking a scotch on the rocks.

Quickly like magic his hooks they flew,
Good Grief! He was finished by two!
He sprang for his sleigh when I let him go free,
And over his shoulder he looked back at me.
I heard him explain as he sailed past the moon,
"Next year, start your crocheting sometime around JUNE!"

Friday, October 26, 2012

no words

I know I titled this "no words" and actually I do have a few words to say. Monday, October 22 the love of my life, Craig Andersen, died of a heart attack. I am devastated. I had been working on making another lion curtain for him for well over a year. I had gotten to the 19th level & kept screwing up in the rest of the project because of the 19th row. I actually finally managed to get past row 19 and was probably up to row 26 or so. And it sat like that for a long time. It was a filet pattern & they seem a bit complex to me, especially with no directions, just the chart. So I thought really hard and decided I was not going to continue the curtain. I was making it specifically for Craig, so I don't feel compelled to finish it. So I ripped out what I had entirely. No lessons, no moral to the story, nothing insightful. Just hold on tight to your loved ones and make sure you let them know how much you love them and appreciate them.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Funeral for a friend

In about a half a hour, I will going to a funeral for a friend, Daisy Shore. I've known her about 50 years. Yes, she was older than I am. Yes, I knew she was ill. No, it doesn't make her death any easier to take. Daisy is the mother of a girl (Sharon) I knew in elementary school. She's about a year younger than I am, so we never had a class together. But I was secretary of the Red Cross group we had at the elementary school. We met a few times a month, I think. She was the volunteer (?not exactly sure about that) from her class. And she lived right across the street from me. Somehow, along the way it was Daisy who I felt closer to than Sharon. Weird, but that sort of thing happens. Daisy was interesting to me because she did a lot of handwork. My mom had embroidered prior to my birth, but with 6 kids,a full time job, and her volunteer work, she had little time for anything. And even if she did want to teach me, I wouldn't have listened. I was a _teenager_. Those of you that have/have had teenagers know what I mean. My older sister Bee gave me the foundations of crocheting as well as knitting and embroidery. But she got busy with her future husband, so Bee had no time to help me with crocheting or embroidering. (I never cared for knitting, seems too slow). And this is the part that Daisy filled in. I sometimes could not figure out a stitch diagram in my life. Some made absolutely no sense to me. Daisy, having lots more experience) could help me understand the strange new world I had wandered into. So after homework, supper and chores were done, I'd go visit Daisy. And we would drink tea and talk about anything and everything in the world. Sometimes it was stitches or how something was worked out. Sometimes (lots of times) we'd eat her delicious baking.It was always easy, pleasant and fun. Daisy was the kind of person the world needs more of - funny, friendly, smart and compassionate. Although I know that love goes beyond the grave, that what was buried today is just the earthly form of Daisy, it's difficult to wrap my head around it. I've had too many losses and each subsequent loss feels like another weight to my heart. But I think for tonight (and a lot of days and nights after this), I will sit down with a cup of tea and crochet. And that way I can honor and treasure her memory while soothing myself.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Crochet Day:)

Okay, here it is, September 12 and it's Crochet Day. I know, every day is crochet day, but apparently this is a bigger deal than just everyday. I probably won't crochet in public because my employer has this silly notion that when I am at work, I should be working. But I will be working on preemie hats tonight, so that's when I get the crochet on.....

For those of you who are planning an active fall lifestyle, particularly the kind that includes going to places where you got to dress up, I have this amazing pattern for a party purse. Okay, it's not "Amazing" it's "Vanna's Sequins"...

here's the link from Lion Brand


Saturday, June 16, 2012

scrips and scraps

yes, I have been crocheting. No, I have not finished my curtain yet. I have been working on preemie hats - they are easy to do while watching TV.

I came across this article about the crochet hyperbolic reefs and how it relates to feminism. I never would have thought of that one, but here's the link.
Definitely something to ponder.

I am starting to buy yarn more online than in the stores. The biggest reason is because it's easy to get the colors I want. I wanted a skein of Ebony Lion Brand Microspun and a skein of Lily White Lion Brand Microspun. That's it. So I ventured to the store, after checking online to make sure they had that particular brand of yarn. Guess what, they did not. They didn't have any Microspun at all. I'm sure they have something else I could use, but I already have black and white yarn at home if I was going to use my stash. So I didn't buy any yarn at all (I know, hard to believe). I checked online and found what I wanted. Even with the shipping and handling, it's still about the same price it would have cost retail. So yay me;)

I received my copy of this week. It is beautifully photographed and so colorful. I happen to really like Tammy Hildebrandt's "Kaleidascope" afghan - I'd change the colors to a colorway I liked better. But that's me. I should do a review of it.....