Sunday, March 20, 2016

I've been Hexed (A story nearly a decade in the telling)

Once upon a time, I fell in love. It was clearly meant to be. I saw a picture and knew that was for me. Never mind that I was madly in love with my husband, a devoted mother to offspring and caregiver to a parent. I was hit hard. And it wasn't one sided either-- but six. No, the object of my desire wasn't polyamorous, but was a simple hexagon, crocheted and colorful, waiting for me.

It was a time in my life when the intermittent nerve problems I have in my hands was quiet, and I could crochet for hours. Hats, bags, Amigurumi critters all tumbled off my hook with colorful abundance. It was on flickr that I first noticed a afghan done in hexagon pieces, rather than granny squares. The pattern charmed me and I decided to take it on.

Koigu yarn stash
I found my hexagon lover while seemingly complex, actually rather simple to get along with.  I could crochet along, only half paying attention to what chained from my hook. The pattern was pretty intuitive, and easy to replicate. It was just a matter of time. In December 29, 2007, I took some lovely Koigu yarns left from various projects (even frogged* a piece I started in 2006, if I recall) and began my hexagon afghan.

I had such fun working on the afghan. It accompanied us as we travelled to our cabin in the mountains. It wrapped around me, as I yakked with my mother, and with my brothers and sister in laws and other relatives when they visited. It absorbed the happy companionship of our home. I still remember one of my sister in laws looking at it and saying that she couldn't believe she knew someone who made something this beautiful. tIeven wore it, as a shark, but in reality a work in progress, when we went to see and hear our family friend James Moody when he came to Charleston in 2008. (That's me in the center, still carrying my prednisone weight, and growing our my hair at my granddaughters' request, to give to Locks of Love. They made a special point of telling me that LofL took gray hair now, Hmph.) It was lovely, a happy time. Each stitch was a reminder of what my mother often said-- an afghan is a way to give a hug to someone you love when you can't be with them. Her afghans were made for people she cherished, and carried armfuls of love. 
January 2008
With James Moody and Al Fraserr (author and Dizzy Gillespie's Cousin

But ultimately, it was time that fled from me. After successfully hosting an International BookCrossing Convention in 2007, in early 2008, the Charleston BookCrossers were asked to host the US BookCrossing UnConvention, and moved into high gear, planning in 3 months what we had done in 3 years for the 2007 event. Then, a few months after that, my beloved mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I immersed myself in that challenge, vowing with her to face the days with courage, laughter and love. Her courage never left her, but mine collapsed in June 2009, as I held her hand and whispered goodbye. I thought that perhaps to heal, I'd pick up my hook again, as I had learned to crochet from my mother, and it was an activity, along with reading and sharing stories, that we liked to do together. After her memorials (one west coast, one east), I headed off to the mountains of Georgia for some R&R, accompanied by a manuscript I was determined to revive, and my hexagon afghan WIP**. But it was not meant to be. Shortly after settling in, I turned around and went home to sit vigil for my elder brother and sister-in-law, horribly injured in a home invasion in India. When my brother died, I put the yarn away, unable to face it, remembering the hours I'd worked on it while both he and my mother sat nearby.The hexagon project surfaced a few times in 2011 and 2012, but my hands acted up and it was tucked away. Then we got involved in readying our home for sale, showing the house, moving, settling in to a new place. 

A few weeks ago, I pulled the afghan-to-be out of storage, and discovered it looks beautiful in our library/office space. I took inventory of what needed to be done to complete it, and guess what? Today I tied off the last bit of yarn on the afghan. It's small-- more like a lap throw or small coverlet, perfect for snuggling up under on the couch, rather than a bed spread.It still needs to be blocked. But know what? When I tuck it around me, I feel the arms of those I love.

Tucked around me tonight as I write 

*translation: Rip it (Congratulations, you now have a words in yarn-speak)
**translation: Work in progress (You now have now doubled your yarn-speak vocabulary)

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