Skip to main content

The State of Things

Friday, July 1, 2011
It is always a little intimidating to get back to blogging after letting it lapse like I have for the last 3 weeks or so. This relaxing holiday weekend seems like the right time to sit down, contemplate these past weeks and write about the "state of things" (crochet)

With crocheting, with volunteering, with most anything we like to do, we often say "real life" (RL) gets in the way. I've always refused to let anything get in the way of my crochet, because even if if I was in the hospital, I think I would find a way to be able to crochet some. For sure in doctor's offices, baseball fields, in the dark on a car ride, etc, etc, I CAN CROCHET!

Some may think that R L has gotten in my way these last few weeks. Well, yes it has, but I have not stopped crocheting. Crocheting sustains me; crocheting allows me to drift away for short periods of relaxation.

My husband has a degenerative disease which is affecting his ability to talk. It is a very long story and I am a private person when it comes to things like this. I'm not comfortable with people feeling sorry for me, so you won't have to slog through the story here! It doesn't have a simple label that tells the story quickly like that of diabetes or heart disease ; it is very unusual and takes a lot of explaining. You probably won't "see" me "talking" about it here again for a very long time. It is so rare, in fact, that we spent last week in Bethesda, MD at the National Institute of Health's "Undiagnosed Disease" program. We are very glad we went and can't say enough about the brilliant and caring professionals who we met there.

I took along several crochet projects that just looked like they would be fun to do. I love following crochet patterns written by other people; I like crocheting with thread. I have also been on a crocheted flower kick lately, maybe becaue it is summer. Here are a couple of the finished objects. I did while gone. It is very satisfying to start and finish something in a realtively short time.

Since Alan is not acutely ill, he was given a pass each day to leave the hospital and didn't have to stay overnight. That's when we switched gears to "vacation mode."

My first goal was to visit the World War II Memorial on the mall in D.C. Using the Metro to get around is easy-breezy and we were glad we went there. I found my father's name in the computer kiosk. He served in the army and landed on Normandy Beach on D-Day! He survived it just fine, but doesn't, to this day, like to talk about it. I went there because at 91, her never will. I got some good photos which I will share with him along with the brochure. We also took in the Viet Nam Vets Memorial and then headed to Georgetown to wander. There we found a fabulous and very authentic Italian restaurant where we thoroughly enjoyed our meal. It was Father's day too, so we stopped at the cupcake shop and treated ourself to one!

Bethesda is full of restaurants and there was no lack of enjoyment there! On our last afternoon, we rode the Metro in the opposite direction to Alexandria where we visited the Torpedo Factory Art Center. I enjoyed it immensely and we watched several artists still at work in their studios on Friday afternoon. I found some inspiration there for my crochet as well. We found a super-delicous hamburger at the Seasfood restaurant, by just stepping into Baskin Robbins to ask for a recommendation! We found people to be extraordinarily friendly there. A friend who lives here and used to live in DC says it is because no one is really born in DC, they all come from somewhere else and are more apt to reach out. It shows!

Oh yeah, and I left my mark on Bethesda with some yarn bombing:

I've been teaching some at the local yarn shop as usual this month; hairpin lace seems to be popular. The day after we returned from Bethesda, I taught Irish Crochet at the Midwest Folk & Fiber Art Fair. I enjoyed my students very much. Evolo and JeneeR have already joined the Court over at Cro-Kween Designs on Ravelry. They were enthusiastic about learning, had good skills and a willingness to learn. I think I was able to offer them some good information about Irish crochet technique and hopefully, I launched them onto a path of creativity with inspiration from the classic Irish style. These teching venues are always inspiring to me also. I liked the market place a lot and was happy to see a bead artist,Tanya McGuire, return this year. I stocked up and got some good ideas from her and also gave her a few!She will be at Stitches Midwest and wants to offer a crochet bracelet pattern. I told her I would help her tech-edit it.

A new little being is about to come into our lives as daughter Nicole is due to have her second baby, a boy, on July 22. I asked her not to come early so I could teach at Folk & Fiber AND not to come late so I can teach at Stitches Midwest at the end of August. So far, so good! We are in waiting mode; the calendar is pretty well cleared. I think I will pack a bag soon, so that is ready when the phone call comes! We miss Chloe terribly and can't wait to see her again with her new little brother! .

I have finished up all the crochet projects I wanted to do or needed to do for classes and am ready to launch into creativity mode. No more pattern following for me; I am off on a quest to create things that have been rolling around in my head for some time. No more procrastination! No pressure either!

I look forward to the coming days and even though we know we have some hard times ahead, we know we will be strong and do what needs to be done to cope with whatever comes


CrochetBlogger said…
I am so glad to hear that you had a positive experience at the National Institute of Health's "Undiagnosed Disease" program. So often it is difficult and tiring to work with healthcare professionals so when the opposite is true it is always really happy to hear.

Well wishes to you and yours!

Popular posts from this blog

CGOA Celebrates 20 Years ~ Part 3: Juried Crochet Art Exhibits

Saturday, March 29, 2014

In August 1994, I hosted 90 avid crocheters for a weekend conference at De Paul University in Chicago that included classes taught by Bill Elmore, Joan Davis, Arlene Mintzer and more;  a Keynote Address by Sylvia Landman (Crafting for Dollars); a lecture by Annie Potter; marketplace, meals together, door prizes a plenty. An optional tour of Lake Michigan on the Spirit of Chicago was offered along with an optional post conference workshop with Pauline Turner. The most ambitious of all during the weekend was the Juried Exhibit of Crochet Art.
At the time, I firmly believed that crochet art was an amazing way to educate people about the vast possibilities of crochet. It is amazing to see what can be achieved with just a hook and flexible lines from many, many materials. Today I still hold the same belief: crochet is as varied as the crocheter who does it. Crochet art, however, moves and amazes even the most seasoned professionals when they see how artists apply t…

Wartime Crochet With Attitude, Part I

Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Karen Ballard and I have a mutual love of free form crochet. We met for the first time in a class taught by Prudence Mapstone of Australia at the Chain Link Crochet Conference 2011. I admire Karen's vast knowledge of needle work history and am grateful for her willingness to share with us as my guest blogger this week.
World War 1 Attitudes About Crochet by Karen Ballard
In 2008, I coined that term, "Workbasket Campaigns" to describe the organized efforts during World War I (WWI) and World War II (WWII) coordinated through the American Red Cross {ARC} and the Navy League to create needle crafted items.  These items were mostly knitted but also sewn, quilted, and crocheted for, or in support of, the military, wounded, allies, refugees, and the patriotic home-front. This effort was a significant: contribution of enormous numbers of needed items to those in war-torn areas and of improved morale for those on the home-front.  
As a crocheter, I real…

Craft vs. Fine Art: How is Crochet Blurring the Lines

I was awakening to the world of crochet in 1972,a time of immense artistic expression through fiber arts; and crochet was not the “ugly stepchild” at the time. In fact, Ferne Cone Gellar who I admire as a successful fiber artist said in “Knitting: The Stepchild of the Fiber Arts?” (Fibercraft Newsletter 1978), “Has knitting been slighted among the areas of the fiber arts? The very word ‘knitting’ evokes images of the little old lady in tennis shoes. Over the years, I’ve learned to ignore all those jokes.” Cone Gellar went on to publish Crazy Crocheting in 1981 and encouraged her readers to create more than bedspreads, providing ideas such as “things to play with or to display on a shelf or hang on a wall.” A photo of single crochet from bread wrappers served as inspiration. 

In 1972 in her book, Creating Art from Fibers & Fabrics, Dona Meilach wrote:
“Why are fibers and fabrics becoming increasingly appealing to artists? Most artists agree that because the materials are so varied, t…