Sunday, 7 April 2013

Storytelling Sunday

I'm so glad to be joining in with Sian's Storytelling Sunday - I've been reading all the wonderful tales told by fabulous ladies all over blogland for a while, and I've finally plucked up the courage and put aside the time to have a go and take part myself! Sian's theme this year is 'Pick Your Precious', and she's encouraging everyone to tell the stories behind the little things that they love, the important bits and pieces that are special to us.

This is the story of a forgotten pastime, lots of bright colours, an antidote to stress and a precious blanket.

When I was in primary school, we were lucky enough to have two lovely local ladies visit once a week to teach crafts for an hour after school on a Wednesday. We'd gather in a classroom, and with wool and knitting needles and crochet hooks, we learned to create headbands and quilts for our dolls and of course, the essential scarf. First, we learned to knit with 4mm needles and scratchy wool, and bumbled our way through dropped stitches and dodgy tension. Later, the 'experienced' crafters were allowed to experiment with crochet, which seemed so much more glamorous and exciting! I remember learning how to make the famous granny square, and crocheting a doll with curly arms and legs. But then secondary school came along, and suddenly crochet didn't seem so cool anymore. The hooks and the wool were abandoned to the top of my wardrobe, forgotten.

Last year, in the midst of studying for exams and preparing for teaching practice in uni, I rediscovered crochet. I'm not quite sure how or why, perhaps it had something to do with the advent of Pinterest and my discovery of lots of lovely crafty blogs, including crochet blogs. So I reverted to what I knew and loved...a 4mm crochet hook, cheap and cheerful wool and the reliable granny square. Without knowing what I was doing, I soon found myself making several granny squares, all the same size. A trip to the local wool shop later, armed with a rainbow of colours, I realised what I was doing. Somehow, I had started making a blanket!

In between studying and lesson planning, the stack of little squares grew. I loved the methodical simplicity of twirling the hook in and out of the wool, it was a complete departure from the stress and panic that accompanied summer exams and teaching practice. I loved seeing the progress and the blend of colours together. I loved lining out the squares and seeing how my blanket might look in the end.

As spring rolled into summer, and holidays arrived, the balls of wool had dwindled to scraggly ends. It was time to join the squares! And then after adding an edging, and not forgetting the tedious job of darning in the ends, it was finished! My first crochet blanket. And since then, it has taken up permanent residence on the end of my bed, though it has been known to mysteriously appear on the living room couch, particularly if someone is feeling poorly or needs a little blankety TLC. It was only when my aunt suggested I could sell it that I realised just how precious it was...I think you can guess my answer!