Monday, September 12, 2011

Channeling Grammie

My Grammie was one of those grandmothers. You know, the kind who not only knows the names of your dolls but can hand sew your teddy bear a robe that matches the one she made for you. The kind who makes melt-in-your mouth cookies, knits blankets to keep you warm when she isn't there to hug you (and are so well made you are confident you will wrap your someday children in them) and whose Sunday dinners are... wait for it... legendary.

When I was about eleven I asked Grammie to teach me to knit. She very patiently tried to teach me something that I just. didn't. get. We ended up making one neon watermelon headband (hey, it was the 80s) and I abandoned knitting forever.

I just wasn't crafty. Unless, of course, you count worming my way out of trouble, in which case my brother would say I was the craftiest kid in the neighborhood.

Speaking of my brother... that kid came out of womb painting like Rembrandt. OK - not really, but to my envious heart there was no point in even trying anything artistic because my big brother was better. A lot better. I saw my own attempts as childish, which, considering I was a child was being pretty tough on myself. My hands could not create what I saw in my mind's eye. To make matters worse, by the time I was in high school every art teacher I'd ever had expected brilliance since I was "John's little sister" and was almost as disappointed in my attempts as I was. The horrible part? I loved being creative. I went to art camp, took pottery and photography classes and was elated by the process - every time was a new opportunity to bring my vision to life... and many disappointing attempts were then stuffed in a drawer, the closet, or the trash.

Not until 2005 when two friends were pregnant did I really attempt anything creative again. I wanted to be able to give these brand new babies something made just for them to welcome them into the world. My then-boyfriend's mother was an avid crocheter and over several afternoons she succeeded in teaching me some basic stitches and how to read patterns. We started with two Anne Halliday books: Afghans by the Dozen: Shells and Love Me Tender Baby Afghans. From then on I was hooked (no pun intended. The boyfriend and I broke up but I kept on crocheting. And to my surprise... I didn't suck at it! I rewarded myself with Donna Kooler's Encyclopedia of Crochet and went to work learning different stitches.

Fortunately I met and fell in love with a man who not only supports my yarn and craft habit but is pretty handy with a set of tools himself. So here we are - a couple of newlyweds in a two room apartment in the city on our great big DIY adventure.

Things I Love