I am not the craftiest person in the world. I enjoy crafts like jewelry-making, especially bracelets, and papercrafts, like putting together small books. These things do not come easily to me as I have almost no art talent. My art talent has increased as I've gotten older but it is more my ability to stick with it and be willing to learn the craft than actually being able to sit down and just do it. I went to a bookmaking class once where I struggled to finish the project by the end of the allotted time while there was one hyperactive, hyper-talented art teacher who made two of project simultaneously and left early. (Her husband was out of town, she said, and she never got to do things like this when he was home.) I have to plod along in my own fashiion and let it register in my own way and then it certainly sticks and I can do it forever.
And then we have crochet. I've started various projects over the years but have never had the ture stick-to-it-iveness to complete them. They were always winter scarves. I like having a warm neck so why not wrap it in something I made myself. I cannot knit; rather, I can knit but I cannot purl. Purl just will not penetrate my head and hands. You can say "you go in backwards" and "it's the opposite of knit" a zillion times but I just can't do it. I can crochet because it makes sense except when you get to the end of the row and have to turn around and go the other way.
About 10 years ago I started a winter-scarf project. I actually stuck to it and crocheted and crocheted. After a while it occurred to me that it was starting to look like a necktie and not a scarf. I ripped it all out, winding it back onto a ball until the point where the scarf ended. What had I done wrong?
My younger niece learned to knit from her mom. She was making cool things with ease. I said I couldn't knit due to the purl thing and I found crocheting to be easier. She listened to me (Thank you, Laurel!) and learned to crochet from You Tube. She told me yeah, it was easier and she made even more cool things. She is clever with her hands, unlike her auntie, and has a good eye for color.
For my most recent birthday, she gave me the gift of lunch. I said instead of lunch I'd appreciate her spending time with me to teach me how to crochet. She agreed with the caveat that all her crochet things were packed up for the upcoming family move and I'd have to bring my own. No problem! While I am not a tidy housekeeper, I know where everything is. I put it all together -- all the hooks, all the balls, that half-completed scarf that was almost a necktie -- and I drove over to her home.
It was the nicest four hours. We talked about a lot of stuff, we sometimes allowed a little quiet as we worked, we shared ring tones and alarm sounds that we use on iPhone (she likes Nicki Minaj and I like Aaron Copeland's "Hoe Down"). I shared the "Carpool Karaoke" on You Tube that features Adele (which was welcomed) and the Slow Mo Guys video of the uvula (which was not welcomed as it's really, really disgusting. And hilarious.).
I worked on the scarf and she started on a hat. I made great progress. The scarf started getting narrower again but Laurel taught me how to toss in some extra stitches mid-row to widen it up. I'm going to finish it THIS WEEK and I will wear it next weekend with great pride. It's not perfect but it's charming just like Laurel and me.
And if you want to see what I mean by disgusting, here's that Slow Mo Guys video of the uvula.'