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A chat with Mom

My beautiful, talented and active mother turned 74 yesterday.  A day she spent in the hospital because her endocrinologist had taken her off insulin and put her on Byetta.  (We share Type II Diabetes.)  This made her nauseated and also gave her heart palpitations, so she spent Wednesday in the ER before she was admited to the cardio floor.

Turns out her heart is just fine – and she’s back on insulin again and much happier for it.  She’s also *home*, in time to get the present I ordered for her – a set of ten crochet hooks in a case.  The present is in two parts – she’s to find a sweater or something else she wants to make *for herself* and I’ll get her the *wool* to make it.  As opposed to the acrylic she’s been using *always*.  (She would have gotten the gift on her birthday if she’d been home.  As it was, her boyfriend didn’t want to open a package addressed to her.)

To that end, I had Knitpicks and Patternworks send her their catalogs.

And we chatted about this today.  Mom is a crocheter.  She can knit – she taught me how to knit – but she prefers to crochet.  And there were all sorts of reasons.

  • It’s faster. She can make an afghan in a week, a baby sweater in a weekend.  When I was in college, I had a married friend.  She had five babies in the time I knew her, and three of them came home wearing baby sweaters my mother had crocheted.  The fourth was taken home right after birth and the fifth had to be taken to a different hospital to fix a harelip right away, so they lost out. 
  • It’s easier to rip.  When knitters frog, they have to watch out for all their stitches – using other needles or lifelies or – well, my favorite technique is to rip down to the row above and carefully place a needle into the stitches of the row below.   Crocheters just need to pull until they’re where they want to be, and there’s that loop, all ready to go.
  • It’s easier to knit large in one piece – such as her beloved afghans.

I suspect that  in her case there’s an extra reason.  My mother is left-handed, but she knits right-handed, like most left-handed knitters.  More that that – she knits continental, which uses the right hand a lot.  She crochets left-handed, so she gets to use her dominant hand.  And she’s very lefty.  A few years ago, she broke her left wrist, and she found eating a challenge. “How do you all do this?”  she asked in wonder, given how easily we all eat with our right hands. 

The break gave her arthritis in that wrist, and she’s taking a break right now, which I only found out after I’d ordered the hooks, but that’s okay.  She’ll go back to it when she’s feeling better. And she’ll do it with nice yarn.

Categories: knitting
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