A lapghan I made for my mother's birthday

A lapghan I made for my mother’s birthday

When I took up crochet in the past year, I had no idea the benefits I could get from it. Yet, they creep into my life like small, unexpected gifts. I treasure these gifts and keep them safe in my heart.

In the past two weeks I’ve suffered badly from a bout of anxiety and depression attacks that I was helpless to defend myself against. These times come and there’s really nothing I can do except wait them out. Crochet was crucial at this time. My thoughts spin around my head and focusing on stitches or watching the craft come to life lets me get out of that space. Even for a short time.

I love giving away my finished works. I consider them art and the look of joy on someone’s face as they hold my work is golden. I live in poverty so I can’t afford store bought items like other people can. I get yarn for cheap at thrift stores, yard sales or it’s given to me by people who simply found a store and don’t know what to do with it. As a result of this hodge-podge of yarn, I’ve gotten very good at creating scrap items or items made from bits and bobs of different yarns.

I’m also a huge fan of Michael Sellick of the Crochet Crowd he understands the hidden power of crochet and it’s ability to create healing. Mikey, as he’s called by his fans, has the best crochet tutorials going and obviously loves what he’s doing. He also holds challenges and it’s here that my story this week begins.

This summer, the Crochet Crowd held “Stitch-cation”, a challenge to create an afghan out of a mish-mash of different patterns. Perfect for my scrap style. When I was finished my work, I was proud. It was colorful and had a lot of me in it. I could see my battle with anxiety in the clash of colors but I could also see my triumph over it. There, in the whole of it was my need to create beautiful things and there, in the stitches, was my love of the small things that make up our lives. I decided to give it to my mother for her birthday.

My mother has her own battles to fight. She suffers from Alzheimer’s and, while she is still lucid and keen now, that will not always last. I wanted to give her something she could touch and, even if her mind couldn’t remember me as her Alzheimer’s progressed, perhaps her hands will remember me when they touched the afghan. When I presented it to her, her first words were, “it’s so colorful!” She loved it. I don’t get out to see her as much as I’d like so I’d hoped the afghan would be a way for me to connect to her. Perhaps I was being a dreamer. I don’t know.

Last week I called my mother to say hello. Our conversations rarely last more than a minute or two, she’d rather watch her game shows on television, but it’s a chance to hear my voice. I was about to let her go when suddenly she said to me, “you made the blanket for me, didn’t you?” I assured her I did. Then, she said, “I like it a lot. It’s very colorful.”

It’s just an afghan made out of scraps of yarn from a challenge on a website. It’s a connection between a daughter to a mother who is slowly losing herself bit by bit.

And it’s very colorful.