Friday, July 8, 2011

Mob Bosses and Crocheting

The women in my family crochet, I'm talking SERIOUS crocheting.  They don't crochet ugly afghans like the ones that are stereotypically draped across the backs of couches in white trash situation comedies, I'm talking the kind of needlework that will blow your mind.  Their creations are a true art form, a craft, a talent.  I'm lucky enough to be the recipient of some amazing crocheted items from my talented aunts, grandmas, sister-in-law, and cousins.  Everyone crochets, and they all do it at an elite level.  One of my aunts in particular has gained national recognition time and time again for her crocheted pieces, I'm always so impressed, she is seriously a crocheting genius.

Flash back about 35 years.  I remember sitting next to my grandma in her velvety burnt orange Lazy Boy, watching with wonder as her fingers, crippled with arthritis, crocheted chains at what seemed like the speed of sound.  I would beg for her to teach me every time I would visit, and invariably she would sit patiently demonstrating a chain stitch again and again. Usually, she would give up, glue two Popsicle sticks together, and I would end up wrapping yarn around them to make those weird stars (I think they are actually called "God's Eye's) that kids made back in the 1970's. I still have a box full of those yarn stars, and by the quantity, it must have taken me a very long time to grasp the concept of the chain stitch.  My grandma was clearly a saint, they both were.  I have almost the exact memories with my grandmother on the other side of the family.

About a year ago, I decided I wasn't going to be the only woman in my family that couldn't make things with yarn.  I looked up how to crochet a chain stitch on YouTube, and eventually taught myself how to make the second row.  I practiced the stitches all winter, but could only seem to concentrate on crocheting while watching mob movies.  For some reason, gangster flicks and needlework in combination really chills me out.  I know, random.  I have probably watched Casino twenty times in the last year, and I have twenty scarves to show for it.   Plus, I think I've heard the F-Word about 3000 times in the process. Sidebar, I'm not a prude, but I think Scorsese overdid it a bit with the cursing in Casino, but even so, it has seriously become my all-time favorite movie. I LOVE IT!

I can complete one scarf per viewing of CasinoGoodfellas or The Godfather. I know that sounds weird, but probably not for the reason one might think.  The issue is not that I have a weird penchant for mobsters and cursing, it's that I don't know how to link in another skein of yarn.  I'm a failure, unless I'm  making something that only requires one skein.  I've watched the tutorials, read the's not happening, I have a crocheting learning block.  There, I said it!  My dirty little secret is out, the whole world knows that I can't connect yarn, I can only make lame scarves.

One of my goals this summer is to spend the day with my aunt who is the crocheting goddess, and figure out how to move on to a baby afghan.  It has to happen, it is number one on the bucket list. Until then, I will make scarves.  I've given my little projects to all of my friends as gifts and donated scarves to homeless shelters in the winter, but even that isn't doing it for me anymore. I must move forward!
Tonight, I changed my standard operating procedure and knocked this raspberry warmer out while I watched a PBS Frontline movie about climbing Mount Everest. Wow, that kind of makes me sound like a total loser.  Watching PBS and crocheting, is that what I've been reduced to?  MAN!  I need to get out more!


Rebecca said...

Um, enter these in the EISF!

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