Since we’re in the midst of Lent, I would like to take this opportunity to make a confession. No matter how hard I try, I am not crafty. Ever since I first picked up a crayon as a toddler and tried to eat it, I have been attempting to create beautiful art projects—to no avail. When I was halfway through kindergarten, my teacher handed me a sack of macaroni, a piece of construction paper, and a bottle of glue. As I stared at the blank piece of paper and the pile of dried pasta, I realized that my sweat glands has suddenly made the fateful decision not to wait for the onset of puberty to go into overdrive.
I held the glue bottle over the paper and let the drips guide my imagination. A few minutes later, my teacher walked around the room and surveyed my classmates’ artwork with all the appropriate “oohs” and “ahs.” She then stopped at my desk, furrowed her brow, and pursed her lips. I proudly held up my paper for her to view. Unfortunately, all ten of my fingers stayed attached to the paper. All of the macaroni that was supposed to be bonded to the paper fell with a loud clatter to my desk. After a long pause, my teacher diplomatically remarked, “I see you’ve made good use of your glue.” As I attempted to pry my fingers from the paper, I had no idea that I had just unwittingly embarked on a long journey that would slowly lead me through a forty-year nightmare lined with crooked latch hook rugs, lumpy hot pads, and crazed-looking sock puppets.
As I matured, married, and started a family, I naively assumed my hidden crafting talents would slowly rise to the surface like a whale desperate for air. I was wrong. After several failed attempts at knitting scarves, embroidering towels, and creating paint-by-number landscapes, I enrolled in a one-day basket weaving class at a local community college. By the mid-morning break, the teacher had spent more time at my table than any other. “It’s a simple over-under process,” she patiently told me as she quickly demonstrated on my basket while the rest of the students ate lunch. I nodded as if I understood. But I didn’t. She had no idea I was still trying to figure out how to braid my Barbie’s hair—twenty-five years later. By the end of the class, the exasperated teacher finally snatched my lop-sided basket out of my hands, sighed loudly, and finished it herself.
“Look what I made!” I proudly said to my husband when I returned home with the basket in hand. I set it on the table. It quickly fell on its side. I propped it against the lamp. “Ta- Sometimes in life, things don’t turn out how we originally intended. The bad news is that I will not be wearing a lovely green scarf next winter. The good news is that my husband is now sporting a lovely new loin cloth.
“Ta-da!” I demonstrated with all the passion of a Price is Right model to my husband who simply shook his head and walked away. Unfortunately, I was starting to see a pattern. Thankfully, it wasn’t a Simplicity clothing pattern because that would have brought back a whole lot of repressed memories about the time I unsuccessfully tried to make my prom dress in high school.
On a recent whim laced with little bit of inspiration and a whole lot of stupidity, I decided to attempt crocheting. As I perused the yarn aisle at the local craft store with no idea of what I was doing, I stopped a fellow shopper dressed in a sweatshirt that said “Hooked on crocheting” and asked her for help. After directing me to the proper sized hook, yarn, and a beginner’s book, she wished me luck. But little did she know how much I needed it.
Needless to say, I returned home with a new bounce in my step. With crochet hook in one hand and a ball of yarn in the other, I voraciously studied the beginner’s book. I intently watched video after video on YouTube created generously shared by expert crocheters. For weeks on end, I consulted with every white-haired woman I passed in the grocery store. They all made it sound so easy. But it wasn’t. I wanted to create a scarf. A month later, here’s what I ended up with:
Sometimes in life, things don’t turn out as originally intended. But that’s okay because what was supposed to be a scarf turned out to be a lovely loincloth for my husband.
Now that’s what I call crafty.
By Vicky DeCoster – All Rights Reserved