Pennie Hunt: Sharing The Chains Of Life

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By Pennie Hunt, Columnist

She asked me if I would teach her. I wasn’t sure I could. After all, it had been years since I crocheted anything. Decades, really. But this was an opportunity to spend time with my granddaughter and I wasn’t going to let that pass by. 

I decided a scarf would be a great first project. We went to the fabric store and bought yarn. She picked green and cream. I chose brown and beige. We sat down with her new set of hooks and an old set that I dug out of my craft closet.

Deep breath. I thought of all the blankets, scarves, hats, and even the Sesame Street Christmas ornaments I had crocheted when my kids were small. Surely I could remember how. It would be just like riding a bike, right? Something you never forget.

We rolled our yarn skeins into big balls, chatting about how long our scarves should be and how we should design the color. Then we picked up our hooks and began. 

I showed her how to make the beginning loop and how to circle the yarn around her pinky finger, over the back of her hand while keeping her pointer finger up to control the tension of the yarn. I said, “Wrap the yarn around the hook and pull it through the loop.” Again, I repeated, “wrap the yarn around the hook and pull it through the loop.”

She watched, and in a quick few minutes we were creating our chains. When they were the length we wanted, I demonstrated how to turn the project around and begin the second row. Then the third and the fourth. 

The yarn gliding through my fingers felt familiar; like a friend I hadn’t been with in a while. Now that we were together again the speed of my yarn through my hook increased with every stitch.

To her it felt awkward and new. She concentrated and her moves were slow and methodical. I watched her trying variations of holding the hook and controlling the tension of the yarn. I explained to her if she learned to let the yarn run through her fingers the correct way, soon she would be an expert and it would begin to feel normal. 

I would stop and watch her. She would stop and watch me. 

Hours went by as we laughed, chatted and told stories. I heard about her school and I told her how my mom taught me how to crochet and sew and how my grandmother taught me how to decorate cakes and paint. 

We changed to the second color and our beginning chains were turning into scarves. Her work was becoming even and consistent. Her yarn was gliding through her fingers the correct way. She began talking about other projects she wanted to crochet and other artistic endeavors we should do together. 

Because of my granddaughter, I was revisiting a hobby I had put away long ago. I enjoyed it again. It was creative and relaxing. It was fun, and I was good at it. I remembered how to do it – just like riding a bike. 

She asked if I would teach her, but with every thought, giggle and stitch she was teaching me not to forget the fun in life. She was teaching me how to remember what I am good at and to teach it to others. She taught me how to keep the chains in life strong and how important it is to pass them on to those who follow us. 

Now let’s get out the sewing machine and those paintbrushes. I have much more to share.

Pennie’s Life Lesson: Don’t let your skills be forgotten. Share the chains of life.

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