Tonight I had a lesson not just in crochet, but in my family history. For as long as I can remember we’ve had a weather- beaten, moth- eaten, hand- made, adorable crocheted blanket in our house. There are pictures of me aged about two and a half rolling around in the garden with it, enjoying an imaginary picnic. I’ve always loved it for its nostalgia. And now, being as such things are back in vogue, my mother is teaching me how to make one of my own. (This could, potentially, be recipe for disaster, as she tried to teach me how to knit once before and it nearly caused a family feud. An argument when both parties are holding needles is never the best of plans.) See our first attempts below! ** Updated!**
As my mum and I knitted (she did one, and I did the other, amusingly taking almost twice as long to crochet the same amount of loops) we metaphorically unpicked the old blanket. It’s been darned and redarned (probably due to ragamuffins like myself rolling around in gardens with it) but it is, in essence, and dating from its original square, at least 40 years old. All the different wools tell a different story… There’s the mottled greeny brown that was used to knit my grandfather a cardigan, a shade of pink left over from my mum’s school friends making her a scarf, multicoloured strands also used for knitting hats, some red from a woolen waistcoat, a mustard yellow knitted into a cardigan for my father, and the purple that mum used to patch some holes after making me a cardigan.
And now I’m starting my own attempt with that very same purple. It’s going to take me a long time to finish it, but here’s hoping mine will eventually gather just as many memories and happy years of wear and tear. ♥
(PS: As You Like It, for those keeping track of Shakespeare openers. It seemed apt.)