Crochet. It sounds like such a granny thing to do, but I really love it. I am very much a beginner but the beauty of crochet is that even with little to no experience you can quickly get the hang of a whole range of stitches and techniques. And with the wealth of tutorials out there on the web, it has never been easier to find a project you want to do and go for it.
I first learnt to crochet on summer holiday in Sicily. We had gone to visit a family friend that used to babysit my older sister and I when we were tiny. When we later moved abroad she came one summer and helped my mum look after us. I don´t remember her from those days although my Mum always stayed in touch with her and talked about her often enough for us to know she was someone who cared for us. Many years later, when I was about 14, mum sent my sisters and I to stay with her for a couple of weeks, where we were welcomed like long lost family. I don´t remember much of this holiday, there was swimming, beach, some trips to tourist destinations, no doubt, but mainly I remember the heat, a horrific neon pink sunburn that still makes me wince to think about it, and a long haired boy that I was infatuated with for about a week; a lothario-in-training who fed me cheesy lines that even 14-year-old me saw straight through and had the Dad of the family in a mild panic, no doubt imagining the numerous scenarios a foreign girl could get into if left to her own devices around a group of teenage Sicilians. Luckily for him, and me, it was all very innocent and the only souvenir I took home that summer was a photo of the pair of us that would serve as a source of endless embarrassment for many years rather than an STD or unwanted teen pregnancy. Result! We then went back as a family for another visit when I was about 20 and it was on this trip that our friend taught me to crochet. I promptly started the purple, pink, white and blue blanket in the photo above and stopped suddenly when I realised I had chosen an entirely too expensive wool which, by that point, only lasted only one round per skein. Deciding it would be a perfect size for a baby blanket for my future offspring I folded it up and put it away. I did, indeed, use it as a baby blanket for both of my children and when those days passed it was again folded up and put to the back of a cupboard. Apart from a very wibbly wobbly scarf I made for my husband a few years ago the only other project I have undertaken, and completed, is a large blanket, of which I am, possibly excessively, proud. I adore it. We had it on the sofa as a snuggle blanket for a while but in the end I have snuck it up to my room for my bed.
Yes, all of this IS going somewhere and that is to say that one of my ´not resolutions´ this year is to keep a crochet project or two on the go at all times. After all it is so easy to dip in and out, do a little bit here and little bit there. And before you know it, you have a blanket! I would like my kids to each have one, and maybe start making them as presents now and again.
In all honesty I do sometimes worry about my mortality, I can be as peppy as I like but nothing makes you think about the more morbid side of life like a cancer diagnosis. I have thought about leaving my kids without a mother. How that would be for them. What I could do to leave something of me behind. Some kind of physical reminder or comfort. Part of that is what lead me to start this blog. Somewhere I can write about my day to day and also about memories that are conjured up even by the most mundane of tasks. It is not that I think I am going to die imminently, or even in the next few years. I really hope I won´t (!). But the truth is that none of us know. We all know that and yet we do our best to ignore it and push it away instead of accepting it, really accepting it, as the inevitable truth. I will die. It may not be from cancer, and it may not be soon, but I will. One day, willing that all follows the natural order of things, my children will not have a mother. They may even be old and grey, and wouldn´t that be nice? It makes me happy to hope for that. But even if this blog is gone, I like to think I will have the posts saved somewhere, squirrelled away. So if they wanted to reach in and find a snapshot of what I was like when they were 4, 8, 12, 15, they can. And as they read they can be with me again, for a while. As they snuggle under the blanket I made for them.
As for the crochet, in the end I have unearthed the original blanket that started it all and decided to upgrade it to a full size blanket. It deserves it really, after all of these years.