Yes, the CLF Blog has been quiet, so why am I losing my voice? AH HAH! Because, I’m at the Stanwood Camano Community Fair , being all official like. No, not as Fearless Leader, well…not for the CLF, I have my All Fiber Arts hat on this week, as the Superintendent of the Handspinning and Fleece Dept.
So, besides running around making sure the entries get judged, clerked and recorded, and make sure all the ribbons are correct and accounted for, organize the spinning, felting, and handworking contests, oh yes, lest we forget making sure the MORE THAN 50 FLEECE ENTRIES get judged tomorrow; I get to sit and spin awhile, and possibly crochet for a bit. (Oh and hang out with some of the lovliest, kindest, and talented people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.)
I was taking a break from being all official like, and just sitting with my friend and teacher, she was making a braided cord, and I was crocheting a miniature sock (which I shall sport proudly on a pin at the crochet summit), when a little girl of no more than 11 came up to me.
“Oh that’s beautiful”, she whispered with the brightest of eyes shining.
“Thank you, I’m crocheting.” I replied.
“Oh I know, I crochet too! But not with thread that tiny, or with a hook so small. I just work with yarn.” She said rather humbly.
I looked up at her over my work, and said, “Well, then you can do this, it just takes counting and practice.” I showed her that I was just using half double crochets and single crochets. Then her face lit up like the Forth of July.
“Well, actually I’m not too bad. I just made a pattern for my own purse.” She then proceeded to explain to me in “crochet speak” how she made it. She doesn’t know the stitch names, she learned from her grandmother, but as she described her “pattern”, I knew exactly what she was doing. Why? Because until 5 years ago that’s exactly how I would have written a pattern.
Then, head to head, no age difference involved, I showed her how to do a 2tog decrease (she was skipping stitches to decrease, which is how I was originally taught, but makes for a holey fabric), and I showed her how to increase. She caught on in two seconds. I completely forgot to ask her if I was making her mother wait, or if she was on her own, the two us had just sat down to design a hat pattern to her specifications in a “language” she could understand. I even quickly mocked up a miniature hat with all the stitches she would need to do. (It looked like a finger puppet, but she’ll be able to remember from the stitches in it.) She wasn’t sure she knew what the stitches meant, but I assured her that her grandmother would know (all single crochets and half doubles), and I didn’t use abbreviations.
Then she said her grandma had trouble finding good patterns, and she was trying to find them. I asked is she was able to access the internet, and she said she could but that “Grandma” didn’t know how. “But, I could download them for her!” So, I gave her a list of websites, and of course a link to ours, and told her that she was definately a member of the CLF.
She made my fair. We talked about how people don’t get crochet, and how versatile it is, and she told me her dreams of making sweaters and other things later. “But, I don’t really read patterns, I just make it up.”
“You, my dear, are a designer. You could learn to read patterns to write them, and make really great ones!Or you can just make really fabulous things!”
Cheyanne, where ever you are, you made this matronly lady’s day! It was an honor and a pleasure to meet you and just sit and speak crochet!