When I was a little kid, my mother had a corner of her bedroom that was filled with craft supplies. They were all separated into plastic bags that were off-limits to us kids, and so, I spent every spare sneaky moment playing in them. In one, yarn: glorious, colorful, über-acrylic yarn! In another, macramé beads and at least half a knotted owl. Another: fabric bits that would later be vests or curtains or jam shorts. Beside it all was a plastic organizer where she kept her neatly wound embroidery floss (the hardest to resist during the late 80s friendship bracelet craze).
My mom used these bags of goods to make beautiful blankets, doilies, clothes, and cross-stitch wall-hangings. She’s the reason every indoor family photo has a granny square or ripple in the background.
Eventually she taught me how to make the same stuff: first just the basic crochet stitches (which I used to make berets for every one of my friend Kristy’s enormous collection of My Little Ponies), and later quilting, cross-stitch, and sewing before swinging back to more advanced crochet. My mom was always kind enough to tell me that my stitches weren’t quite right, that I was painfully slow, and that the back of every piece was a nightmare. She wouldn’t hesitate, after letting out an exasperated “tisk”, to pick up what I was working on and tear it back to the last correct row or stitch (which was sometimes the slip knot).
And really, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
That’s the way she treats her work, and today, that’s the way I treat mine. Perfection isn’t necessary (and those of you who follow this blog will know, not even possible), but learning to do something the right way is worth the time and patience. I will never be as good as my mom, but I am so lucky to have her as a teacher and crafty mentor.
And before I put my mom too high on a pedestal, let me share one of her greatest works: crocheted halter tops. Oh, the yarn choice, the not-so-coordinated shorts, and the very idea of having nothing but double-crochets across your chest. You were a wild one, Mom.
All kidding aside – thanks, mom! See you next weekend for a little crafting!