When I gave Kateri a Learn-to-Crochet kit for Christmas, I knew it was the kind of gift that would require some commitment on my part. I didn’t mind that, though. I have wanted to learn to crochet for years and I figured that this might just be the kick in the pants I needed to actually learn this time so that I could teach Kateri. When I sat down with the manual, however, I thought I had made a terrible mistake. It was written in some kind of code: dc? sc? hdc and ch? I tried, but the jumble of yarn I was holding in my clenched fingers didn’t exactly match up to the diagrams.
Time for some serious crochet intervention. Thankfully, my good friend Donna agreed to come by one morning last week to show both of us some basics. What a difference having a real live teacher makes! Within minutes, we were stitching. And once we de-coded them, even the diagrams started to make sense.
Kateri and I spent several days afterwards fiendishly stitching. We haven’t exactly made anything real yet, but several stuffed animals are sporting handsome new scarves and I am harboring ambitions of making a real hat. One that somebody might even actually wear.
The most fun Kateri and I have had in our crocheting adventure so far, though, has been our trip to the local yarn specialty shop. When we entered the store the other afternoon, it was as if we had stepped into a foreign land. I had not previously realized that by learning to crochet and by shopping for yarn, my daughter and I had become members of some kind of secret ladies’ club. But it seemed to be true. And what’s more, the people in this secret ladies’ club are nothing like the people in the rest of my life. In fact, I suspect that if they knew about the rest of my life, they would be inclined to revoke my membership.
These people–these crocheting and knitting types, these yarn-buying ladies–are slow, calm, and deliberate people. The shop smelled of tea and freshly baked apple crumb cake. Soothing music filled our ears. Shoppers browsed the aisles slowly and peacefully. Kateri and I spoke in hushed tones as we looked over brightly lit displays of tinted lamb’s wool, cashmere, and alpaca yarns. Hand-crocheted, antique doilies graced the walls and a perfectly stitched infant sweater hung in the corner. Knitted dolls in crocheted dresses sat perched atop a stack of Knitty Gritty magazines by the cash register. This was complete and total unabashed girliness. What a wonderful thing!
There were no screaming babies. There were no messy diapers. There were no piles of wrestling boys. No noisy dogs. No soap scum covered bathtubs. No stress, no rushing, no hurry-hurry-hurry. Just peace. And tranquility. And prettiness.
I picked out a soft and nubby yarn for my ambitious hat project. Kateri chose some brightly dyed red wool yarn. When we brought our purchases to the front desk, the little old lady smiled warmly, took out a pen, and added up our total by hand.
With the tinkle of the bell of the yarn shop door still in our ears, all too soon Kateri and I found ourselves back home in the real world. In the real world, the baby was up from his nap, the laundry needed folding, and dinner wasn’t made. But thanks to my yarn shop experience, I tackled these tasks with a renewed sense of peacefulness and calm.
There are quieter, more peaceful places in the world than here. I know that now. And now that I am a member of the crochet club, whenever I really need to, I can visit.