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Archive for July 14th, 2014

Many years ago I lived in Italy for a bit. This weekend’s travel into the crochet world reminded me of that daunting first week in an unfamiliar country with language and customs I had yet to learn.

The visual difference between where I had lived and Italy was exciting and terrifying at the same time. Working with crochet was like that. The fabric it produces was exciting to see, the getting there involved a lot of uncertainty with a slight feeling of terror at the end and beginning of each row trying to figure out where to insert the hook, what was the top of the turning chain from the previous row, whether to turn and then chain or chain and then turn. Identifying the correct place to insert the hook to begin the next row was always a moment of doubt. It reminded me of the first time I ventured out into my new Italian environs without my trusty map, wondering if I could get from my new home to point B and then back again without getting hopelessly lost.

The language was exotic too. No matter how long I had studied Italian, being surrounded by it and not having the security of my native English to fall back on if I wasn’t understood, was a different kettle of fish. When people spoke to me, it took me time to process what I thought was being said and more time to construct what I hoped was an answer with all the right words. Communication wasn’t spontaneous and rhythmic. The same was true with my foray into crochet. The letters dc in the crochet pattern gave me nothing but fits as I kept reading it as decrease and not double crochet. Instruction after instruction needed to be read from the beginning more than once for my mind to edit decrease to double crochet. There was talk of chains, not stitches, meshes and loops 5 of which together meant 1″ (2.5) cm. Yes, the gauge of the pattern was not in stitches, nor in chains, but in meshes and loops.

Quanto costa? How much is this? At the time Italy used the Lire. 5,000, 10,000. The figures initially were shocking until I worked the conversion from Lire to dollars in my head. Meshes and loops posed the same difficulty only I had nothing to convert them to to help understand.

I completed the work on the crochet project. Three others were waiting to be done. I had to say I couldn’t work on them. I can’t give over the time it would take to delve into the new land of crochet and survive. A certain sadness accompanied the decision because all the projects were lovely and I knew I wasn’t just closing the door on grading them, I was closing it on ever making them too.

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