GRANDMA AND the CROCHET LESSONS
BY SUSAN SIMPFENDERFER
©2016 PKA & Susan Simpfenderfer
Grandma made beautifully crocheted blankets, several of which my mother has to this day. I watched her crochet complicated stitches with bright yarn colors that seemed so easy as her aging hands just flowed through the yarn and around the needle and back through the spaces to create beautiful patterns.
It seemed like every female in our family knew how to crochet but me. I couldn't wait to learn, and by then I was about 9 years old. Of course, being the youngest, it was natural that everyone would learn before I did. It's just that I had an extra problem: I was the only lefty in the family so who was going to teach me? My mother, to her credit, tried many times to show me, but I just couldn't get it by watching her right hand and transferring the movements to my left hand. My big sister tried to show me, still to no avail.
One day, I sat in Grandma's kitchen with my head perched on my hands in sheer frustration. "Grandma, I just can't learn how to crochet and I think it's 'cause I'm lefty. I just can't get it."
Well, I believe the day grandmas become grandmas their brain power doubles when they are in the presence of their grandchildren. At first Grandma just sat there while I whined. Then she got up and came back with two crochet needles, some yarn, and the biggest handheld mirror she owned. She said, "I think today is the day you'll learn how to crochet."
Very slowly, she crocheted in front of the mirror, whose reflection looked to me like her left hand was holding the needle instead of her right hand. I was able to mimic her movements one at a time until finally I'd completed a stitch– a real stitch! From there, I eventually completed a whole chain. Then she taught me (still in the mirror) how to return to create a second row.
It's a lesson I'll never forget. On many levels.