I was born late, a sign of things to come maybe. Only by a couple of days or so I’m told but late none the less. I like to think that this delayed entrance into the world hasn’t done me any harm – I developed normally both mentally and physically and no harm came to either my mum or me in the delay so all things being equal, I think the delay wasn’t too traumatic. However, since then it has been mentioned once or twice that I’m late to the party of life. As a child I was a dawdler, whether on a walk or in the classroom – I would arrive just a few minutes late or trail behind the others. More than once it was said I’d be late to my own wedding and funeral and apparently that person could predict the future seeing as I was a bit late to our wedding earlier this year – the funeral will need someone else to report back on.
As I grew up, I always seemed to be late with various fads and interests. This seemingly has continued into my adult life – TV shows, clothes, jobs, relationships and hobbies. Hobbies being the main one – I has cross stitched since I was about 4 and old enough to wield a plastic needle and some wool. I still have the first Christmas tree decoration I made on some plastic grid in the shape of a moon. I love a bit of cross stitch – there is something very soothing about following a pattern and turning a blank canvas into a picture. Over the years, I’ve made samplers for birthdays, new houses, weddings, new baby arrivals and a whole other mess of reasons. I’ve only ever made one and kept it and it now hangs on the wall above the table in our dining nook. I love giving them as gifts – something unique and personalised to the recipient and to be kept forever. Thankfully, the people who have received these as gifts seem to genuinely love them…either that or I have exceedingly polite family and friends.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve been increasingly aware that crochet is a “thing” – celebrities the world over have been pictures with a stick and ball of wool in restaurant, film set or some other setting. When I met Husband, I found out that he crochets, his mum and one of his brothers crochet and at one point, his mum owned a wool shop. I married into a very talented crochet able family with a dirty secret – I couldn’t knit or crochet. I was taught to knit many moons ago by my grandmother but never progressed beyond a few rows of very tight stitches which were abandoned in tears. Mum cross stitches too with brilliant results – there is a row of samplers above my parents bed that she has works for wedding anniversaries. Recently, she went back to school to learn how to re-upholster furniture and in true Thomas form, went on to recover all the dining room chairs and several more for my sister and other folk. Dad is a painter, watercolours being his main medium of choice and he’s recently started with acrylics – all of which are brilliant and sell well. I’m not gifted with such artistic brilliance. I can follow a cross stitch pattern but that’s about it.
Instagram has been one of the things I was late to the party on – but now I’ve caught up a bit, I have a lovely group of people who tend to share their crafty items and ideas with crochet being one of them. Between Husband and Instagram, I was surrounded by crochet and while I was happy with my cross stitch there was a bit of hooking envy. I was desperate to try to crochet so naturally I asked Husband to teach me. He’s taught me quite a bit; how to swim under water, how to not need to wash my hair every day and how to make popcorn on the hob…crochet was a bit different. We had a couple of stumbling blocks, the main one is that he is left-handed and I am right-handed. This makes teaching me very difficult and frustrating for him and for me. The next best thing was You Tube. I’ll admit I was sceptical – surely it would be like trying to explain how to tie shoelaces. However, I found a tutorial and off I went. Slowly, with many many pauses in the video, my granny square grew. It served two purposes: it took my mind off the god awful stomach cramps that went with the stomach bug I had been given for Christmas and I had cracked a tiny ambition. I could crochet!
The square is growing and I’ll keep at it for a while and add in other colours. My aim for 2015 is simple – to crochet square everyday and eventually create a blanket. A mood blanket (something else I’m late to the party with). The plan is simple. Pick colours that correspond to a mood, which given how emotionally changable I am, shouldn’t be hard and then crochet a square according to that mood colour. Eventually all the squares are stitched together and a blanket is made; a mood map of the year. As they say, better late than never!
I need to say a huge thank you to Bella Coco via You Tube – an excellent tutorial on my first granny square!