When I think of acts of kindness I think of “the little things”. That is because I still have fond memories from when I was young of how certain people were patient, supportive, and kind to me. Let me explain…
I learned to crochet way, way, way before it was fashionable to do so. I was ten years old (ha! O.K., maybe I shouldn’t say that it was that long ago?) and my swim coach and his wife were a lovely retired couple with no children. I became their surrogate granddaughter and Mrs. Emerson’s love of crocheting was passed on to me with many wonderful afternoons of lessons. I still have and use the set of crochet needles she gave to me.
I have such happy memories of our times with them. Mr. Emerson was my very first swim coach. Boy did he have a tough job! But I remember that he was quite patient with all of us beginners, and always kind. Being a part of the swim team really felt like being a part of their family. It was a very fun time!
So now when I crochet I find myself thinking fondly of the times when Mrs. Emerson taught me a new stitch, or showed me a new project, or generally of the wonderful times we had together.
As for swimming, I am now a coach myself and I absolutely love it! I think of all of the coaches who were patient with me, encouraged me, and supported me all through my many years of competitive swimming. Now it is my turn to ‘pay it forward’ and do the same.
As for the crocheted flower blanket, it all started while I was away with my daughter at a swimming competition! We popped into a wool shop and I simply loved the spring colours they had (it was March last year): pinks, yellow, green (especially the green)!
This is the part where I could write “lessons on how not to make a blanket”… I just bought balls of wool. I didn’t have a project in mind but I had a vague idea that it would be a blanket. 🙂
I had a couple of books, too many ideas, and not enough yarn!
I found a flower pattern that I really liked. To make it fit a blanket and with other granny squares I just added stitches to the outside. The picture of the blanket above is what I had in mind for tying it all together. I really liked the white lining and border.
I won’t show you the many pictures of failed attempts at “randomness”. Random just did not work for me. I needed to have some order to my madness! I also had white and light pink granny squares that just did not go well with these colours. This is the tough (silly) part when you just crochet without a pattern. I finally disciplined myself to create a pattern of colours and flowers. Life got much easier then!
I have green flowers on a yellow square at the centre point of each border. From there, I alternated pink and yellow flower colours in a diamond shape. There is also a diamond shape around the very centre pink flower. To add more flowers, I decorated the corners. I think I mostly worked diagonally!
The flowers took a long time to make. WAY longer than I wanted them to. The granny squares are a cinch to make. Crocheting it all together actually made my hands get all cramped! huh? I must have been holding everything together too tightly. There are 121 squares. That is because I ran out of dark pink yarn and decided I was totally done with this project! Having started in March, done a bit in April, nothing over the summer, and then started again in September, this project was dragging on way too long! The blanket pattern with the white border simply said to crochet them together horizontally first, then vertically. It would have been helpful to say “slip stitch over the already crocheted together rows”… Nevertheless, I figured it out.
I waited on the border until I found something a bit different. The tiny trefoils are simple to make and I liked the look (makes me think of shamrocks).
I only put them at the corners of each square. I tried more but didn’t like the look. I should tell you that there were many times I unraveled my work because it just wasn’t good enough. Now I can honestly say that I really like it. O.K., I love it. 🙂
And that is my story of how acts of kindness can last a lifetime!
I hope there is kindness in your life today!