Sometimes when we set out to do something, we know that there will be consequences.
Sometimes those consequences are the things that will happen; sometimes those consequences are the things that won’t happen. But sometimes when we set out to do something, we don’t realize that there will be any consequences at all. The actions we are taking seem inconsequential, and we don’t know that once we take that first step we are setting into motion a series of events that will irrevocably change us.
Such was the case for me early in the afternoon, on a Sunday in January of 1998.
I had gotten it into my head that I needed to learn how to crochet. As part of this quest I found myselfin the living room a woman I knew socially, but about whom I knew very little outside of the fact that her name was Edith Proctor, she knew how to crochet, and that if I would come to her home, she would teach me.
At that moment, I don’t think either of us realized just exactly what we were embarking on or the impact it would have on my life and the lives of those around me, but we were embarking nonetheless.
It is one of those moments that I look back on as being a point defined by a starkly different before and after, but at the time, it was just a Sunday afternoon when I had achieved escape velocity from the many obligations I had at the time, and I was more than happy to take refuge in Edith Procotor’s apartment in furtherance of my personal quest.
Edith’s apartment was filled with the remnants of a long life fully lived, and when she was not instructing me on the finer points of our shared love of crochet, she would tell me the stories of the various artifacts in her home, and in telling the stories of those artifacts, I often learned a little bit about Edith.
Eventually, however, I moved, and after 18 months of weekly crochet instruction, I had to leave behind my Sunday afternoons with Edith.
For several years, I was reasonably good — if imperfect — at keeping in touch with her, but as my life got busier, the number of phone calls I made and letters I wrote dwindled.
Eventually, Edith passed away, but in a way I never expected, she lives on.
I grew up in a small town in the Central Valley of California. It was a small enough town that if you didn’t actually know someone, it was almost impossible not to know of them.
This was compounded by the fact that once you reached seventh grade, you went to school with the same people for six more years until you all graduated from high school, and it was Connie, one of those “I went to school with her for six years but never had a class with her,” friends who, because of my incessant enthusiasm for crochet, decided she would give it a whirl. Of late she has taken to creating her own designs, the most recent of which is Tristan the Triceratops, an all-occasion dinosaur appliqué, and I got the chance to road test the pattern.
I didn’t have the DK weight called for in the pattern so I used worsted, and because I was using worsted, I used a 4.5 mm hook rather than the 3.5 mm hook called for, and because I like bright colors I used purple for the body and head, pink for the bony frill and part of the face, and spring green for the legs and tail, and when all was said and done, here is how Tristan came out:
I know that had she lived to see this day, Edith would be thrilled to see what Connie had accomplished, all because Edith was there slapping my hand (so I wouldn’t chain so tightly) when a good slap was what I needed.
With Tristan done, I was ready to get back to the sixteen front burner crochet remnants.
I really didn’t get all that much done, but I did get the ends woven in:
and after this photo was taken I began work on the first round of rehab.
The older I get, the more I learn that things don’t always turn out as we plan, but I can still enjoy the journey along the way, one stitch at a time.