From Umbrellas to RainbowsBy A Guest Writer – 10 Comments
A Guest Post by Eve Tallafer-Sison.
I learned to crochet at the age of nine. My mother, in her early 40s then used to crochet bedspreads, chair covers, doilies and table runners. She would do that in between writing her lesson plans as grade one teacher in my hometown’s Central School for more than 25 years. Watching her was so intriguing especially gazing at her hand movement. I liked it when she would yarn over once, twice or even thrice for a double, treble and double treble crochet.
Just like any other child, my curiosity had to be satisfied and so after undergoing my first crochet tutorial in learning the initial step, the rudiments of crochet, that is, doing a chain, it seemed like I had a taste of marijuana. That was fantastic! Practicing making a chain as Lesson No. 1. Just chain, chain, and chain, using my mother’s own crochet hook as she had only one at that time. From then on, I couldn’t wait till she would take some time out either to rest from her project or for some other chores, so I could use her crochet hook.
At my age, it must have really been something new to experience because from then on I couldn’t resist the addiction. I had an irresistible urge to do exactly what my mother did. For me, just watching her was never enough. The challenge was to be able to yarn over repeatedly myself. And so I had no choice but to master the chain-chain-chain practice-makes-perfect dictum first. Well, I just realized I had the mark of a perfectly normal growing child whose desire was to explore new tasks.
But how could I have achieved mastery of the skill when my mother didn’t seem to stop holding her crochet hook and cone thread most of the time that summer vacation? Well then, nothing could beat nature’s way of nurturing a child’s inherent need to develop a sense of accomplishment. With so much eagerness and excitement, and possessing an overflowing enthusiasm to learn, I found myself exhausting all efforts to try the craft myself. But first I had to search all over our house for anything I could use as an improvised crochet hook until I found a piece of steel from a broken umbrella. This is how it looked like.
One end had a slight protrusion that I was able to use as a hook to yarn over after going through some pounding to create a slight curvature using a hammer. This part of the umbrella is called the outer rib. I used the outer rib as a crochet hook.
My mother had only one crochet hook and for fear of getting a spanking if I used her hook without permission I had to make do with my newly discovered crochet hook. To my surprise, the very improvised hook worked wonderfully, though awkwardly with much effort on my part, did its part and served its purpose, resulting in loose chains. How was it possible, I don’t know. But one thing is sure — determination was the key. My mother, however, saw my struggle using the umbrella rib as a crochet hook and finally thought of buying a new crochet hook especially for me. And that marked the beginning of a beautiful thing that happened in my life! Something beyond regret, a cause for envy among some of my classmates, as not everybody gets the chance to learn the craft.
I was able to finish several long chains with constant coaching with the ideal tension. Eventually, I found myself graduating from the basic Crochet Lesson No. 1. Passing the chain test equipped me with the qualifying armament necessary to proceed with Crochet Lessons No. 2, 3 and so on…Wonder of wonders! Doing the slip stitch, single, double, treble, and double treble crochet was no effort at all, just as I had no trouble the first time I learned to place the thread on my left hand and holding the crochet hook on my right. My mother was all praises in amazement at my very fast progress!
Following directions from a crochet magazine as I worked on the sofa cover had been a challenge indeed. Likewise, redoing certain portions of the project where I made mistakes was not easy. I remember it was like making several granny squares and connecting them together, one by one, then, by sets, until I was able to finish the whole thing, of course, with guidance especially on areas where I (an incoming forth grader) couldn’t fully understand the instructions. What joy it was when I finally saw my mother fasten the finished product on our three-seater sofa made of narra wood!
Since then, I became inspired to crochet hankies which I would sell or send as gifts to relatives, classmates and friends. Such a fulfilling craft that gives one a great sense of pride and accomplishment. Given much time, patience and effort and endowed with the ability to understand and follow directions, one would fall in love with crochet, a special and classic craft that has given me an experience that is not far different from chasing a rainbow. Why don’t you grab a crochet hook and try the addicting experience now?
Eve is a nurse by profession working in a Cardiac Hospital in the Philippines. Next to cooking, crochet is her hobby, a craft she learned from her mother. Doing picture collages is her other favorite hobby.