My Inspiration

Here is my beautiful, award-winning afghan. I created and crocheted the pattern myself. This is a tribute to my grandma, Margaret, who inspired me to crochet. She was the only person in our family who crocheted and it was one of her trademarks. She always made gifts for new babies, usually a layette set, blanket, and mobile, and handmade Christmas gifts every year for all the grandchildren. Her favorite things to make were afghans and doilies.

When I was thirteen, I realized that my grandma wasn’t going to be around forever. I knew how special crochet was to her and how much it meant to the family. So I picked up a “teach yourself” book, a set of basic hooks, and a blue/creme variegated ball of Caron Simply Soft (not the best choice for first-time crocheting, I might add) and taught myself to crochet. The first day I tried, I wasn’t doing the single crochet stitch right. Instead, I was doing a slip-stitch and my little square was just one dense mess of yarn. I was frustrated and afraid I wasn’t going to catch on. I went to bed, then started fresh the next morning. I realized my mistake and made one awful potholder. I wish I would have kept it, just so I could see where I came from. (Yes, a couple months later, I tore the potholder apart and harvested the yarn for another project.)

For Christmas one year, I made Grandma a cross bookmark. She was almost brought to tears when she held it in her hands because she said, “This is the first crocheted gift that someone has given me. I’ve always been the one giving.” After that, I continued to make her stuff. The last thing I made for her was a lapghan in green and brown and blue and red. It was beautiful. I don’t know if she ever used it. I hope she did.

When I made my first afghan for the Country Afghan Magazine Contest, I showed it to Grandma and she replied “I think you are better at this than me.” I always wanted to make her proud and live up to the legacy she created.

After she passed away, I taught my mom to crochet. She had tried several times before, but never managed to catch on fully. Full of determination and stubbornness, she taught herself to crochet with my help.

My Grandma always said we should crochet together. We never did. It is one thing I regret. My mom and I crochet together. I decided that I don’t want to have that same regret with her.