I folded a washcloth today that brings up a lot of memories. It’s faded now, but I remember the day it was purchased.
One day when I was around ten or twelve years old, my grandma took me to town and told me to pick out a washcloth that I liked. I chose this one with a pink and lavender flower arrangement. She found some thread that matched the lavender in the washcloth, and we went home. Back at her house, she proceeded to teeach me how to crochet. While she worked with her own crochet hook, I tried to follow her moves. I learned to chain, and a few other stitches, and then it was time for the washcloth. While I practiced my stitches, Grandma laboriously blanket stitched all around it so that I would have loops to hook into, and then we began. She showed me the tricky little way to anchor several stitches in one place, and amazingly, the scalloped edge began to emerge.
When it was finished, it was carefully packed away in my hope chest, along with the pillowcases I had embroidered and later, the quilt that she taught me to piece and then quilted for me, not to mention the many beautiful dishes that both of my grandmothers gave to me as a young girl.
Evidently the crocheting was a good enough job, because it’s gone through twenty-five years of use and laundering. The washcloth has actually developed a tiny hole, but the crocheted edge is still intact. Amazing. But the best part isn’t that I have a washcloth with memories. The best part is that I still have a tiny bit of my grandma with me every time that I use it AND I have a skill that I never would have otherwise learned.
It amazes me now to think back on what a good teacher Grandma was. She simply sat down with me and we worked together. She was incredibly patient and never made me feel inept in any way. She examined my work carefully, and she was very particular, yet I never felt criticized. I don’t remember that I ever asked her to teach me these things–she simply poured out what she knew best into her granddaughter, and I loved the time we spent together.
I wonder if I can be half as good a grandma as she was…
So far, I don’t think I’ve taught Amy much, but she has learned to love computers. She likes the lights that flash and those buttons are SO fun to push. We finally gave her her own keyboard.