I remember being soothed by the sound of knitting needles clicking away in my great grandmother's living room as a little girl, thinking it was the most amazingly pleasant sound I had ever heard. She would always have a project on the go for one of her many family members or neighbours, and I'm pretty sure she could have made any intricate project with her eyes closed. She never seemed to worry about stitch counts because she'd made every pattern she knew a hundred times each, and her final results were always nothing short of impressive. Her knitting skills were beyond anything I knew and her crochet was just as good. Nana had one crochet pattern in particular that stands out to me. It was a pattern for slippers, written out on the inside of an old cereal box, cut down to shape for sizing. She would use up all of her yarn scraps to make a new pair each week (we had, and still have, a huge box of crocheted slippers in our front hall) and never seemed to tire of making the same pattern over and over again. She could easily make a pair a night and then transition right back to knitting without missing a beat. Her old school ways of making everything (and I mean everything) are the reason why I do what I do.
I started crocheting when I was about 8 years old. My mom would sit down and patiently show me over and over how to chain, and it was always me who would lose my cool first. I would try and try and keep pulling the yarn off my hook, or pulling the chain too tight. My projects always looked ridiculous and I would get beyond discouraged, and that's if I hadn't delayed the process by tossing the odd hook across the room when I couldn't take enough deep breaths. It took years before I had that first real 'Ah ha!' moment and finally realized that the harder I was trying, the worse off I was. It was then when I realized what crochet was supposed to be for me - therapy. Even though I had zero patience to really complete anything, I learned an important lesson in DEVELOPING patience. I had to figure out how to work through problems and stick with the project. I learned not to give up and not to let my temper get the best of me. I couldn't see it at first, but crochet actually helped make me the person I am today.
Now, with a daughter of my own (who has the same patience I did - none), I'm thrilled to be able to pass on the knowledge I got from the women who came before me, even if some lessons take longer than others.