My paternal grandmother "Nanny" taught both Lynda and I to knit, as they say, practically before we could walk.
Over the years I've knit everything from Afghan's to sweaters, hats, mitts, gloves, scarves and slippers
Nothing hard like socks, never could get the hang of using 4 needles.
When I was in my 30's, my sister showed me that she had learned how to crochet!
Someone had showed her a simple Granny Square, which you just kept going around and around and around until it got to the size of blanket you wanted.
So simple, so fast! I tried my hand at it and found that it was indeed very simple and VERY fast.
Much faster than knitting and I really liked it.
From the simple Granny Square, I picked up some patterns for other Afghans or blankets and I taught myself all of the stitches other than the chain and double crochet used in the Granny Square.
The more I learned, the more I liked crocheting much more than knitting!
My sister Lynda, preferred and remains a great knitter. Her 4 daughters and 6 grandchildren can attest to that!
One year I found a pattern for a thigh-length crocheted coat. I made one for myself, one for my sister and then about 4 more for friends. Wish I still had that pattern..........
I didn't make any other clothes that I can recall.....crochet patterns just don't have the same styling that knitted patterns do for some reason. I guess crochet is to "square" and I don't mean old-fashioned kind of square.
As the years went on, I made all different patterns of Afghans for everyone I knew and they all loved them. If people wanted a particular colour, I simply asked them to buy the yarn and I would not charge anything for my time. See how much I love crocheting?
One year I entered one of my Afghans into the Markham Fair......I didn't win any prize but I was so proud when I saw it under the glass cabinet at the fairgrounds!
Fast forward to 2001 when I met my future husband John. I didn't crochet much at this time because I was too busy doing other things (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).
Over time, we travelled to places such as the Dominican Republic and Mexico. We would either rent a car or hire a taxi for a day and travel off the resorts and into the "real" D.R. and Mexico and see the "real" people of those countries.
I was always sad when we'd see these "real" people, because they were so very poor it was heartbreaking. But I did notice one thing with each and every person we saw........they always had a smile on their face! Made me realize that even though they had what we perceive as "nothing", they had the most important thing and that was family......it was a beautilful realization!
After John and I got married in 2004, I started to crochet once again......I made many, many Afghans and blankets........lots of happy friends and family later, I wanted to make something that was quick, easy and small so I could work through the summer without sweating with a heavy warm blanket on my lap. I started to make Granny Squares......4" square. Then I would sew the squares together to make.....BABY BLANKETS!
I found out that if I went to Walmart and bought the big balls of baby sport yarn, they were only about $8.00 with tax then, that one ball would make one blanket....not a great expense for an entire blanket!
Thus began my baby blanket era.........I made square, upon square, upon square.....I had squares everywhere in the house. When people came over they would say "oh look at all the cute squares"......then I would sew them together and have lots of wonderful baby blankets.
|Small sample of my blankets and squares.|
John and I retired in 2007 and the day after Christmas that year, we said goodbye to our friends and family and drove 5 days to Mexico. I had taken 10 or 12 baby blankets with me on that trip.
When we got to the bungalows where we were staying for 3 months, I asked our landlady who was a Mexican married to a Canadian, if she knew anyone that would need a baby blanket for free.
The town we were staying in was called Los Ayala, a very small town with dirt roads, no sidewalks, no streetlights, etc. We were living in "real" Mexico. Most of the people in that town were very poor but as I said, very happy.
|Some of the Mexican families in need.|
Romy sent the word out that a "Gringa" from Canada was giving away handmade crocheted baby blankets to anyone who was pregnant or had a baby and was in need of a blanket to come to her Casa on such a day at such a time.
That day, there they were.....10-12 women, some with babies, some with big bellies soon to be babies.....they were so grateful it thrilled me to no end. I thought there would maybe be 1,2 or 3 women, but there were as many women as there were blankets. Perfecto!
(You may be wondering, why would babies in such a hot climate need blankets? During the winter, when we Canadians and American love to travel to the warm south, the local people find it cool during the day and very cold at night, especially those who live up in the mountains away from the ocean. While we are in bathing suits sweating in the sun, some local people wear jeans and sweaters!)
The following year, we changed locations and were living in Bucerias for 4 and 5 months at a time. Our landlady at these bungalows introduced me to a lady doctor who ran a free clinic in town. Our landlady had been donating the worn out sheets from the bungalows to the clinic to put on the stretchers for the patients so it would be a bit more sterile. I met Doctora Nilda and she told me through our landlady, that she was sending new mother's with babies born at the clinic home with just a sheet to wrap the baby in.
When I handed Doctora Nilda a huge pile of baby blankets, she started to cry and just repeat "Muchas Gracias Senora".........she was just thrilled for her patients.
All, in all, I think I made and gave Dra. Nilda over 35 baby blankets.
My heart was full..........my fingers were sore............the babies were warm!
|Baby Delphine....snuggly warm in her blanket!|