As the new year approaches, we reflect on the last 12 months.
I became an official senior citizen in May turning 55. Yikes, where did the time go!
My wonderful husband and I have had great joy in watching our daughter graduate from college.
(here she is with her boyfriend, Andy)
Joyous weddings, new babies, travel and the dearest of friends. I am still blessed to have my parents living and two brothers, with families, not too far away.
I did an interview for Crochet Concupiscence a little while back. She has shared many stories on how "crochet saved my life". I thought I would post the interview for you today. It's really a love story. A story of loss and making it through. A bit lengthy, so I thank you in advance for getting to the end!
What is your basic story of how crochet has healed you or improved your quality of life?
When I was a young woman in my mid 20’s, I married a wonderful man named Cory. A big, handsome, strapping guy of 6’ 3” and 205 pounds, blonde, almost white, hair and a reddish beard. We had a Big Fat Greek/ Scottish wedding complete with bagpipes, Greek dancing, Ouzo (a Greek liquor) and 500 guests. It was a lovely day. He made me feel safe and loved. We had a house, great friends, good jobs and dreams of children and a life together. We were very happy.
Nine months after we were married, on Thanksgiving, Cory
was diagnosed with Leukemia. Our happy world came to a crashing halt. Right in to a hospital the very next day to start treatment. We were very optimistic. Months of chemo, radiation and two bone marrow transplants means more days in a hospital than out. The loss of his job meant I was the breadwinner. Every day, I would get up, go to work, go home, change my clothes, go to the hospital until 10 or 11 at night, then go back home. Wake up the next day and start it all again.
Back in those days, you filled out your own claim forms for the hospital and doctors which was very time consuming and frustrating. When the insurance money arrived, you paid the bills. I was exhausted, scared and heartbroken. When Cory was at home, he was, of course, depressed, nauseous, bored, angry, lonely and scared. He also was hooked up to an IV, at home, and it was my job to administer medication and fluids. What on earth was I going to do to keep my sanity? How was I going to help him? I have been a crafter all my life, so that was the answer.
I would crochet during the hours at the hospital. Hooking away at baby blankets for friends babies. Hand towels for all seasons. Scarves for the cold days in Nebraska. Reading a pattern kept my mind diverted, for a time, on something else. Mindless, rhythmic, easy stitches during the long hours at the hospital. The yarn running through my fingers, the colors, all coming together in fabric. It was relieving some of the horror, some of the tension, some of the anxiety, for a while.
Hooking away at blankets, thinking of a new life coming into the world when it was very likely I would be losing the love of my life. Which I did, two years, almost to the day, later. We were 29 years old.
All those items I worked on were just too heart wrenching to keep. I couldn’t look at them without weeping. The scarves and towels were gifted to the many people who supported us through our long journey. On a side note, I remarried 3 years later to my current husband of 23 years, Brian. We have a lovely 22 year old daughter, Zoe, my BEST creation!
When did you learn to crochet?
I was in my early 20‘s.
I already new how to knit, having been taught by my mother. I picked up a beginner crochet book at a craft store, bought some worsted weight yarn and got started!
Have you ever taught anyone else to crochet?
I don’t consider myself a very good teacher, but I have taught a couple friends how to make simple dishcloths.
Where are you most likely to crochet? Do you watch TV or listen to music while you work?
I mostly like to crochet in front of the television, except during Downton Abby! We take many a car/airplane trip, so, that is another favorite time to crochet.
Are you alone when you crochet?
As I make a living crocheting and knitting, I do most of it at home, in “my chair”, surrounded by pattern books, fabric and yarn.
Have you ever crocheted in a crafting group? Do you consider yourself part of a craft community (online or offline)?
I do consider myself part of a crafting community as I have 6 online pattern stores and make many custom blankets and scarves.
How do other people support your craft (or not!) and how does that impact the healing benefits?
I have paid for my daughters college tuition with the support of crocheters and these online patternstores. The joy of designing and crocheting continues to heal. I am in my mid fifties now with minor health issues that keep me off my feet.
What is the number one most healing / beneficial aspect of crochet for you? How exactly is it helping?
The process of
choosing great yarn colors is half the fun! Crocheting it all up and seeing it come together is wonderful and the final moment of seeing this creation around someones neck, on a little body, noggin or in a stroller is the BEST!
Who do you typically crochet for?
Crocheting for babies is my favorite! Small projects that often get handed down to siblings. Family heirlooms that get passed down the generations is very gratifying.
Do you find it more healing to crochet for yourself or others (and why)?
I don’t mind crocheting for myself, but gift giving, now that’s healing!
Have you seen crochet heal / help anyone else in your life?
I have read many a blog or story of how this craft has
helped others and it always makes me smile.
Do you do any other crafts besides crochet? If so, which
ones and do they offer the same benefits?
As I have been a crafter all my life, having learned from my mother, I have done it all! Knitting, cross stitch, pottery, painting, glass bead making, sewing, etc. They all offer benefits and can heal the soul.
Finish the sentence: “The number one reason that I crochet is ....”
if I don’t, I feel like I will explode!
Thank you for getting to the end!
I'm sure many of you have had some kind of struggle in your life. Some big, some small. One must go on. There is light at the end of the tunnel and I find that creating art will get you there.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!