Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Ripple Apart, but Still Connected

A few weeks ago, at my brother-in-law's going-away-party, I was approached by his fiancee with a request to help her with her crochet.  She knew how to crochet, but had left it for other types of crafts and had decided, since she'll have a year of waiting, to return to crochet.  The problem?  Her grandmother had sent her a swatch of a crochet stitch pattern she loves.  Only she didn't know how to "read" a crocheted swatch and translate it into an afghan.  Unfortunately on that day she did not have the swatch with her.

Yesterday we met up again at my niece's 4th birthday party.  This time she was ready!  She pulled out a yellow swatch and said, "Dee, this is what I want to make!"

Ah ah!  She want's to crochet the RIPPLE!  I am well acquainted with the ripple as it was the -- THE! -- very first stitch pattern I ever learned, and I did so at my grandmother's knee!  Fond memories indeed!  I took the swatch and looked it over, counting stitches, noting the backloop use only ...

As we were in a restaurant and I did not have my crochet supplies with me (I know! How shameful, right?!), I took out a pen, grabbed a napkin and started drawing out the pattern using International Crochet Symbols.  As I drew out each stitch and then pointed out the crocheted stitch in the sample her grandmother had crocheted for her I could see she was making the connection.  With each "mountain" and each "valley" we crossed, causing the fabric to rise and fall, (insert Diana Ross singing "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" here), her smile started growing and growing!

Unlike me, she brought her crochet supplies with her.  So we took out her yarn and hook and started working on recreating the sample her grandmother had produced.  I turned to one of my sister-in-laws who had been watching and said, "Another satisfied hooker."  That got some laughs. 

I know it's going to be a rough year for her to wait for my brother-in-law to return.  And I know that since we live some number of valleys and mountains apart, checking up on her progress will be difficult.  So I decided I'll put together a crochet-care package, or two, for her, perhaps even a subscription to a crochet magazine, to help her rekindle her love of crochet.  Readers, what would you put in a crochet-care package if you were sending it off to a future sister-in-law?

If you'd like to learn more about the Ripple Stitch, Sandie has a great tutorial here.  Interested in seeing what International Crochet Symbols look like?  Check out the Stitch Diva here.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the mention, Dee! You are so talented - I am constantly impressed with your skills. It is not as easy as some might think to decipher a crocheted piece. Though admittedly a ripple has a distinct look, there are many ways to make it. Good luck to your SIL with her crochet.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the future SIL learning how to crochet!  Knowing you, you probably didn't have to unravel anything to get the gist of the pattern like I did with that puff-stitch that mom was working on.

Care package?  Care package....hmmmmm, just thinking off the top of my head (and remember, I'm under the influence of pain meds)....I'd put the following:

Stitch markers, hooks (even if she has some already), yarn needles (very important!), yarn, scissors, perhaps a beginner's book(let) (and maybe a list of your favorite pattern sites on the Internet), and finally, a tape measure and/or seam ruler (found in sewing areas) for checking gauge.

LOL....maybe night vision goggles for crocheting under the covers at night????

Love and hugs,

Anonymous said...

I have a list of supplies at my web site you might like to read through for ideas. It is not comprehensive, but could be helpful.