Yarn has been a constant in my life. Sounds rather odd, doesn't it? Most people have pets, or favorite stuffed toys, or visited-daily playgrounds, or music as their childhood constants. I – much like the cat I've always wished to be – have yarn. I was surrounded by it when I was a baby, and I am surrounded by it twenty four years since.
When I was little, during my summer vacations, I would watch my grandmother crochet with wool. It didn't matter that it never got cold where she lives. It didn't matter that I didn't understand the patterns, or how she created multiple loops from a single strand and ended up with a single loop from the many she started with. She would pull a needle through yarn like a ritual, and I would stare in wonder.
I am still fascinated by it. Everyday – summer or winter – I watch my mother do the same thing. Back and forth the needle goes, and just like that, what was a messy ball of wool a little while ago, is now a pair of mittens to keep my perpetually cold hands warm.
I watch the seasons change, I watch the pile of crocheted mittens and scarves and hats grow, I watch my mother's hands get more wrinkled, as they slowly transform into my grandmother's, and the only thing that is constant is the yarn. It runs through our family, tying us together into a neat pattern of tradition.
I've tried learning how to crochet, and I've been told with a little pat on my head that with time, I'll develop enough patience to make something that doesn't resemble childishly and senselessly tied together wool. And that I'll really understand what it is that I'm doing. To be honest, I'm counting on that. Because it's more than a hobby for us. It's a way of life, handed down from one generation to the next.
Someday, I'll get the hang of it. Someday.
If you, too, would like to give crocheting a try, this is a good place to start: