It all started one day at church. I was carrying a new granny square bag I had made, so when an older woman I barely recognized came up to me and asked, “Excuse me – did you make that?!” I was proud to say, “I did.”
Instead of complimenting it and moving on, she hesitated. “Are you pretty good at that stuff?”
I laughed to myself, thinking of all the designs I had created and projects I had made, my blog filled with yarn and the issue of Crochetvolution that I had just put out, but all I said was, “Yeah. I’m pretty good.”
“Oh,” she said. “I wonder – you know, my daughter is expecting a baby. It’s her fifth child, but her first girl. They’re naming her Daisy for my husband’s mother, who died recently.”
“That’s a nice name.”
“Yes. Well, we were going through her things, after, and we found little pink blanket…half-finished. I think it would be so neat for Daisy to have something her great-grandmother made for her, but I’ve asked everyone and I can’t find anyone who knows how to finish it!”
Sensing what was coming, I briefly regretted bringing my bag that day. This was not what I had had in mind.
“We have the directions, we have the yarn, do you think…that you would be able to do it?”
I promised her I would look at it. I couldn’t tell her no. I thought of a great-grandmother, welcoming boy after boy, until the day she got the news that there would be a girl. I imagined her delight, picking up her pink yarn at last, and beginning a blanket for the long-awaited great-granddaughter that she would never see. So, I collected the afghan.
When I got it, I discovered that it wasn’t half-finished – more like a third. Grandma Daisy wasn’t doing this by halves and the afghan was huge, not the little baby blanket I was envisioning. Still, I read the directions and confirmed what my inspection of her work had told me. This was a simple pattern that I could easily follow, and there was no one else to do it. I agreed to finish it.
I don’t often take on large projects. I prefer things that are small and quick, or at least have a variety of shaping to keep me interested. Only two months remained until baby Daisy was due, but I was convinced I could finish it quickly.
I wasn’t counting on another curve-ball from Grandma Daisy. When I sat down with a hook and the directions to begin, I discovered that she wasn’t a “follow the pattern exactly” crocheter. Turns out, she was more of the “do what works for you as long as it looks right” variety. A skipped decrease here, an extra stitch there – I had to pitch the pattern and follow along the work that had been done to make my stitches match what had been done before.
I’ve rarely felt so proud as I did the day I washed that finished blanket and pinned it out to dry, only a week before the due date.
There were tears in all of our eyes the day that I returned Daisy’s afghan to her family. Baby Daisy’s mother had not known that her mother was secretly arranging for her grandmother’s afghan to be finished for her daughter. Four generations of women were connected through a lacy pink blanket, and I had been given an opportunity to form a special connection with a woman that I had never met by finishing her final project.
About the Author
Melissa Mall is an at-home mom with four sons eight and under. They have just completed yet another transcontinental move – hopefully it will be their last!!! You can keep up with their ordinary adventures over at her blog, or take a peek at her crochet patterns and tutorials at Inner Child Crochet.
Article & images © Melissa Mall. All rights reserved.