Being brave is being afraid
. . . but doing it anyway.

. Katherine Marple

marplemade.

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Stay Strong. Be Brave.

I've been crocheting since the age of 8. At the time, I learned one stitch (the slip stitch) from my grandmother, while she was teaching me how to crochet a newborn blanket for my younger brother, who was yet to be born. 

Crocheting was tedious for my imaginative mind, so I would work at it for a few hours, see that I had only made a couple of rows progress, and then give up, returning to it the next day to try again. I never finished that newborn blanket for my brother (Sorry Josh).

When my grandmother passed suddenly, I was 14 years old. I was numb. I ached, but I didn't have the words to explain the specifics of what I was feeling. When I missed her, I would take out my hook and yarn and try to learn to work the same slip stitch she had taught me so many years before.

It took a few more years of trying (and hopelessly failing) before I made my first Perfect Scarf. I remember feeling as if my grandmother's spirit was sitting beside me as I made that final turn in the last row and knotted it off. I did it!

I crocheted when I was lonely, when I was sad. I crocheted my way through the hopes of pregnancies and the grief of loss. I gave gifts of blankets which took weeks to make and scarves which took several hours. Each piece was created specifically for the recipient, with love and attention to detail in the pattern and colors, with hopes of making him or her feel the warmth I felt when I thought of them.

Crocheting became an outlet for me, much like singing, writing and painting had. It became a way of joining my history with my present. 

I've been mastering this craft of crochet for over twenty years.

My Grammie was a writer and was musically inclined. She was honest to a fault and was tongue-in-cheek funny; rough around the edges, but soft inside. She cared deeply, but didn’t always know the “right” words to say it. She was a painter, a crafter, a crocheter: a creator. She had a heart of gold which I wish I was old enough to recognize before she passed.

If she knew me now that I'm an adult with children of my own, I think she would enjoy my company. I see so much of my late grandmother in myself, now that I'm older. I didn't intend on modelling myself after anyone, but she must have made a deep impression on me.

Sometimes crocheting is frustrating and tedious, like when I work a new prototype and after hours, it doesn't finish the way I imagined it would. But mostly, it's therapeutic. I get to create something with my hands, which will keep someone warm with both materials and with love. I get to imagine something into life, beginning with just bundles of string and an idea. I get to teach this gift of creation to my daughters and pass down this family tradition through another generation or two. 

I get to share this gift with You.