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Thursday, December 17, 2015


~ Nancy Massaroni adapted by Dee Stanziano ("Crocheting with Dee"). If you use this poem, please give credit to Nancy Massaroni and Dee Stani

`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

Thursday, September 03, 2015

It has been almost 4 years since I have posted anything of any length to this blog. Many things have happened in these last 4 years.
One of the biggest reasons I did not post came on October 22, 2012. That is when my beloved husband of 30 years, Craig Andersen, died of a heart attack. I had been working on a curtain panel of a filet lion but not that quickly. I kept getting the count wrong at row19. I had finally broken through whatever was causing the problem and was at about 25 rows when he died. I could have crocheted the 30+ rows to finish. But I couldn't. I totally ripped that project apart, crying the whole time. I always referred to Craig as my cheerleader because that's one of the many things he was to me. I had nobody to say "hey that looks great" or encourage me the way he did and I didn't crochet for a very long time.

My hands would be idle while I watched television and I did not miss the feel of the hook and the yarn. I was so numb, I didn't miss anything. Yup, I looked at patterns and bought yarn when I was in the mood,, but that wasn't that often. I still continued my crochet magazine subscriptions but nothing interested me enough to make it.  I had wooed and won Craig with a combination of crochet (a lion) and banana bread and I didn't want to think about such things.

I'd love to tell you that one day, I got a fantastic pattern or a gorgeous yarn and the crochet block was broken. If I said this,  I would be lying.  But a friend asked me to make a hat and scarf set for his roommate. And I did, it wasn't anything fancy. Just a shell stitch scarf in a cream color and a hat made of single crochet with a shell stitch brim. I had made up the pattern (well,  I can't really say it was a pattern - just shell stitches) that I could do automatically without thinking or looking. That wasn't the huge chip in the crochet block but it was a crack.  Slowly I became more interested in my crochet and yarn. It probably took me over 2 years to finally completely break it. Now when I watch television, I have to be crocheting _something_. My hands itch to have hook and yarn in them. I look at yarn catalogs the way some women look at shoes.

And so it goes. I would still need to crochet with both hands and both feet 24/7/365 to use up the large stash I have. And I am dumb enough to buy more yarn ("but it was on sale" syndrome). It is a great comfort to me because out of all the things that have changed in the world, crochet hasn't. Sure, new yarns, different patterns, different stitches, different hooks but still the same soothing ritual.
To me, there is something awesome to be able to have a "hobby" that can help me heal.

And since I am being thankful for that, I should also give a shout out to my older sister Bee (who died 7 years ago). Bee taught me how to knit, crochet and cut patterns out. Without Bee's instructions, I doubt I would have gotten into the needle arts.  I didn't know anyone or never noticed anyone doing needle art. Since we were together constantly, she had the time and strangely enough, the patience to teach me the skills. I was lucky. If you ever get a chance to teach someone to crochet or knit, any needle arts, I advise you to definitely try to teach them. You are giving them a lifetime gift, it's almost like teaching someone to read. It opens up a whole new world of possibilities and that person will be forever grateful for your lessons.