A Family Legacy of Crochet

By A Guest Writer – 13 Comments

A Guest Post by Julie Jones.

My Grandmother was an expert at crochet. Her beautiful afghans won first place every year at our state fair in her age category. When she passed, there was a basket next to her rocking chair with her current project lying on top.

When I was in my mid-twenties, I asked my Grandmother to teach me to crochet. She was happy to do so, however I wanted to make something specific and it required crochet thread. Not the best for a beginner. I got about halfway into the circle I was making and was so proud of my progress. When I showed it to Grandma, she took it carefully in her tiny hands and said, “Oh, I see you’ve missed a stitch”. Before I could draw breath to protest, she had ripped out the stitches back to the spot where, unseen to my eyes, there was missed stitch. I gave up crocheting soon after till twenty five or so years later. Suddenly I took it up again. I can’t remember why I decided to try it again, but I did. Currently, I would qualify myself as an experienced beginner, and I always have a project going in additional to my other pursuits. I also make lampworked glass beads, and turn them into pieces of jewelry. My Grandmother’s insistence on correcting missed stitches has been successfully passed on to me. I find myself ripping out several inches of work in order to correct a missed stitch, even on something as mundane as a dishcloth. It surprises me even now that I do it.

My aunt tells me that I am the only one of the grandchildren who has taken up Grandma’s beloved craft. It makes me glad to know that I am doing something that would make her happy. And now, my great-niece has asked me to teach her to crochet. I will happily pass on the lessons from my Grandmother to another who will, I hope care enough to rip out her mistakes and make them right.

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13 Comments

  1. Tanya says:

    I remember asking my grandma to teach me to crochet when I was 8ish years old, but my attention span couldn’t get me to do more than the first row! Now 20 years later I am addicted to crochet (thanks to this site and youtube!) I also feel that both my grandmothers would be happy to know their love for needlework will be carried on!

  2. Marlene says:

    This is a story that gives me great comfort! It’s so important to carry on these hand-making traditions, I think. I wanted to learn to crochet so badly for years, but could never get a handle on it when my mother tried to teach me; she was right-handed, and I’m a lefty. Recently I’ve done a lot of searching to find references to teach the left-handed community to crochet, and this website was one of the gems. Now, after so many failed attempts, I can finally say I’ve got the needle craft “gene” that runs in my family, and I am know the youngest one to wield a crochet hook! I hope my mom would be proud – she was an inspiration in this and so many other subjects.

  3. Tristine says:

    My grandmother taught me to crochet when I was about 10 and she did the same thing! I messed up somewhere along and she ripped it right out! I was crushed then but I guess it was good for me too because it doesn’t break my heart now when I have to do the same thing. You should see the looks on my friends and families faces with I rip something back- totally shocked as if I have ruined it!

  4. Sonja says:

    Ah, the pursuit of perfection. If I didn’t rip it out, I’d always know it was there and it would bug me. I must admit, though, I would never feel comfortable ripping out someone else’s work, especially a first project. Accomplishment and then perfection.

    In regards to left handed crochet, my daughter and I had the same trouble, until I realized we could mirror each other, instead of sitting side by side. Really helped a lot!

  5. zeghsy says:

    My great grandmother taught me to crochet, initially all I could do was a chain. Then a short while after my daughter was born, I picked it back up. Now, I’m totally addicted. I always rip out my stitches when I realize I’ve made a mistake. If I’ve gotten very far, I’m a little sad, but I’d rather it be correct. This year I’m making a scarf and hat for my daughter for Christmas. I hope they turn out better than my previous attempts.

  6. Jean Martin says:

    Do you sell any of your lampworked beads?
    Please tell me if it is easy to do lampwork in one’s home. I understand it requires a heat source.

  7. TRACI says:

    MY GREAT GRANDMOTHER CROCHETED BEAUTIFULLY. ALL THE GRANDCHILDREN WERE MADE AN AFGHAN FOR THEIR BED, IN THEIR FAVORITE COLORS. SHE ALSO MADE DOILIES, WASHCLOTHES, DISH TOWELS ETC. NO ONE IN MY FAMILY EVER LEARNED TO CROCHET FROM HER PRIOR TO ALZHEIMERS TAKING OVER. YEARS AFTER SHE PASSED AWAY, I ATTEMPTED TO TEACH MYSELF, IT WAS VERY FRUSTRATING BECAUSE I AM A LEFTY, AND WAS TRYING TO LEARN RIGHT-HANDED. FINALLY AFTER THE THIRD ATTEMPT, AND THANKFULLY YOU-TUBE TUTORIALS, AND MANY LEARN TO CROCHET BOOKS, I FINALLY ACCOMPLISHED LEARNING TO CROCHET , NOT TO HER LEVEL, THOUGH. SHE COULD WATCH TV, AND CROCHET WITHOUT LOOKING AT THE STITCHES.
    I JUST ADDED THIS SITE AS A FAVORITE ON FB. THANKS…. I WILL RETURN OFTEN, AND HOPEFULLY POST SOME PIX OF MY ACCOMPLISHMENTS !!

  8. Nancy says:

    I was taught how to make a granny square from someone elses grandmother and the rest I self taught,but am learning more from all of my wonderful on-line friends.
    I will be teaching my future dil how to crochet this winter so any advice how a leftie like me can better teach a rightie?

  9. Etta says:

    My grandmother didn’t crochet but my Mom did. Grandma insisted that I learn to crochet so at 5, I began to learn on tread( in the 50′s). For years I didn’t bother with crochet, just knew I could if I wanted. Many years later I found it very soothing to crochet big intricate doilies. It got me through some really rough spots.
    In recent years I picked up the hook again this time with yarn. I have to pace myself and these aging hands but still love it. Not as picky as I used to be. My husband calls them Persian flaws.
    Only wish Grandma had taught me her specialty, knitting.
    My other Grandma was a quilter and I promise myself I will do that when I retire.
    Until then I’m happy crocheting.

  10. Etta says:

    Nancy, sit across from her and have her mirror your stitches.

  11. charlotte says:

    I too was inspierd by my grandmother’s beautiful crafts I was 5yrs when she taught
    me how to embroider, gave me my own ring I did so good she told me, to make my
    story short I still have my ring .My grandmother now 100 and 6 months old me 55
    still do embroidering and I have done crochet for 20 years and
    2 years ago picked up knitting I love it.
    I combine them togetther for some projects beautiful work ……

  12. Barb says:

    As a teen, I wanted to learn how to crochet sooooo bad ! But, I just couldn’t quite get the hang of it, and was just too impatient.
    When I was expecting our first child, my mother-in-law taught me to crochet !! She couldn’t read pattern instructions, but could look at a crocheted item and ” pick it out” as she called it. She taught me using the small steel hooks and crochet thread.Sort of unusual for a beginner to learn with. But I was so glad to be able to crochet. I was so pleased to be able to put crochet-edgings on all of the flannel receiving blankets, bibs, and the edges of anything else that sat still. ha!
    Luckily for our baby boy, ( smile) I was too busy to do a lot of crocheting. A few years later, both he and his younger brother were sooo pleased that they didn’t have to wear socks with crochet edgings to school. :)
    Here I am, still crocheting little edgings on flannel blankets. But these blankets are to take to the NICU at the Children’s Hospital here. I crochet those tiny little caps for the preemies, afghans, and what ever else strikes my fancy. There are so many wonderful crochet patterns available on line now for just that purpose. Just look, you’ll be so surprised.
    It is a good feeling to know that the tiny babies that are born with so many problems and difficulties, are covered with “love” disguised as a flannel blanket with a crochet edging.

  13. Varsha suraiya says:

    My mom taught me to crochet and sew.In fact in school I was so bad that I’d get thrown out of class every week for incomplete assignment.Once I didn’t do my holiday homework of embroidery so I hid it and lied that I lost it.My mom was called to school and once home she found the hiding place of my napkin.She was furious!!!! Once I bribed my maid to complete my work and she did it so well…..I got caught.Igot married and after two kids and family I started a boutique in embroidered clothes which I ran profitably for 7 years.My mom couldn’t believe what I did but was elated at my achievements.Now, I crochet all the time and make evening bags and chemo caps which I give to friends .Any one need one can put up their hand . Ipray some day someone in my family will carry on crocheting too.

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