Friday, October 12, 2012

Ripples of Tradition

At his mother's wake, Tom was telling my friend Debbie that his mother was half-way through the ripple pattern afghan slated for the last grandchild to receive one of Grandma's coveted creations. Tom went on to say that he would love to find someone to finish said afghan as a wedding presentfor his niece, Beckee, because this granddaughter was engaged to be married in October. Serendipity took over and Deb told him she knows just the person, Crochetqueen, who might take on the job of finishing the afghan. The rest is "history."
Beckee's Ripple Afghan: 120 rows, 40 hours I haven't done the ripple pattern in years and crocheting afghans is not my thing, but the sweetness of the tradition intrigued me. Sixteen grandchildren had already received blankets and the bride-to-be was anticipating her afghan. Only 240 rows left to be completed were preventing the circle of love from being closed. No one in the family apparently has crochet skills, so I agreed to take on the job. It is a heartfelt story, and the finished afghan will be treasured for years to come. I gained a new appreciation for the ripple pattern as row by row, hour by hour, I worked on finishing the blanket on time. As the stitch count cemented in my head and the rhythm of my took took over, I wondered what else I could make besides afghans or scarves in this pattern? The experienced crocheter whose afghan I finished had a plan, and it was all laid out in a simple spiral-bound notebook.
Spiral-bound notebook A treasure itself, this notebook is a window into that grandma's life and her thoughts as she crocheted, including notations on a hearing aid and a casino!
Grandma's plan and notes inside As the afghan grew, I saw the plan as a very graphic and symmetric design. Strikingly beautiful, the interplay of the colors used in the afghan challenged me to come up with a color combination that suits my color palette as well as a design for something unique in the ripple pattern.
Pew Pals: little animals tucked into a pouch for entertainment during church When I delivered the finished afghan two weeks before the wedding, Tom and his wife were thrilled! Tom is a kind and gentle soul who, I believe, genuinely appreciated his mother's handiwork and knows the value of tradition in his family. He happily paid me more than I asked for, but it wasn't just about the money for me. To see a family value the creative hands of their beloved mother and to want to see that each and every one of her grandchildren had a lasting memento of her is a beautiful thing. I am glad that I have the skills that make me an important part of seeing this through to fruition!.

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