Crocheting… and Lucille

Last night I put the baby in the tub, and he was having so much fun without my interaction. So I decided to get my crochet hook that I just bought, some yarn, and a really old craft magazine with crochet instructions in it. I sat down in the bathroom floor beside him and started.

My entire childhood, I went to my Mamaw Lucille’s house really often and we created non-stop. We made dolls with safety pin/bead dresses and those creepy doll heads on wires, I did my first sewing there, then later embroidery. She built the foundation of the artist inside me. For one of the very last crafty things we did together, she taught me to crochet doilies– I was 13 or 14. Mamaw Lucy died when I was 17, during a painful teenage angst time in my life.

So I was surprised when I picked up the hook last night– I didn’t expect it to feel so deeply sacred. I could feel Lucille in my heart.

I’ve had an aversion to crocheting for a long time. I’m not really sure why, exactly. I looked over the instructions rather vaguely, and then figured out how to chain on my own. The diagrams were weird and confusing, so I just sort of found a rhythm for something akin to single crochet. I decided that although I was fairly certain that I wasn’t doing it “properly”, I didn’t care, because the “rules” of crochet just seem sort of silly, restricting.

I played around while the baby splashed, and this is what came of it:

Then after I got the baby all dried off and dressed, I started another doodad, this times experimenting with that very cool quality of crochet– where you can just break away at any point and go in a different direction. The freeform aspect of the art intrigues me. This is the result of that experimentation:

I’ve looked around a bit and found this really great set of lessons (There are ten, I think, if you click on the link at the top of the page). Yet, I still think that there is something beautiful about the way that I am going through these motions that feel so deeply sacred, in complete ignorance of the way it is “supposed” to be. I’m sure that I will eventually decide to learn the rules.

But for now, I’m just thankful for this clean slate.

A new way to love my yarn.

A new way to celebrate Lucille.

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4 thoughts on “Crocheting… and Lucille

  1. I just recently took back up “thread crochet” (after having tried it as a young teen and really messing it up badly). This was the main craft my grandma (my mom’s mom) did for relaxation and fulfillment.

    It is funny, but as I work on my first-ever doily, it’s almost as if I can feel her hands guiding me, or her looking over my shoulder with approval.

  2. Very cool – and very cool way to think about it. Have you seen the book AlterKnits? It is fabulous for just that reason: it lets you think outside the box, and do fun things with what you make. (But you already do make fun things, don’t you?)

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