Today, I made an ugly scarf. It took me quite a while to complete, starting and stopping the process. The wool came from two rolls; one of which was intended for a hat that never quite took shape and the other for a multicoloured scarf that did not do the same either.
I started crocheting in October last year. I was at the Eckankar World Wide Seminar in Minneapolis and was spending some down time in one of the supply rooms. A volunteer, whose job it was to man the supply room was seated beside me and we tried to make good use of our fifteen minutes spent in each other's company catching up as we saw each other every six months or theareabouts.
As she spoke, she reached into her purse and brought out a roll of yarn and began to crochet a scarf. I watched her for a while, taken back to when I was around 12 years old, in boarding school and a knitting faze swept through the school. Everyone was either crocheting or knitting something. Most girls made blankets or baby clothes. In any case, wool was in. So, I wrote home to my mother asking for knitting wool and pins. I think I must have told her, it was a requirement for home economics class which would have been a partial truth. In any case, the next visiting day, tucked inside the bag of fruits and provisions that my mother lugged with her in public transport on my behalf were half a dozen balls of colorful yarn and two long knitting pins. The kind old ladies used. I was ecstatic.
However, there was one issue. I had no talent for knitting.
By the time, my care package arrived, the fad had died out and something else was the reigning extra curricular activity.
This story, I shared with her inciting laughter. She then decided, she would teach me how to do a basic crochet.
We spent the next twenty minutes with me, battling her soft yarn with a crochet pin. Then she gave me my first crochet pin and the rest of her wool so I could practice on the flight home.
On the flight, while practising, I hit a snag and did not quite know how to continue. My teacher was either in the air herself or thousands of miles away. No means of communication. I looked up and realised that the lady sitting infront of me was also crocheting herself. So I proceeded to nearly scare her out of her seat by tapping her shoulder through the small gap between the chairs and ask for her advice. She put me through my paces and corrected what I had done wrong.
Now, I was ready to start.
I got home, dragged my bemused Aunt to Walmart and purchased three different colours of wool. Bad Idea.
For those who don't know, Walmart prides itself on its LOW PRICES. So, compared to other places, the wool was very cheap and I soon discovered why.
Tasking myself to complete a scarf for my little cousin with a colour he picked for himself. I began on my first scarf. First of all, I could not get the scarf to turn out straight and so the end result was more like a long triangle. Then, unlike the pictures I had seen, this scarf was not falling softly. It was as stiff as a carpet. When it was done, my cousin tried to wrap it round his neck so he could proudly show off his hand made monstrosity in school but the useless thing would not stay. We tied it in a small loop and it looked like something from one of Baba Sala's parodies. My aunt threw it in the washing machine with half a bottle of fabric softner and we barely escaped it becoming like a scouring pad.
I wrestled it free from the poor boy's neck and the last I saw it, I think it was used to wedge something in the laundry room.
I then decided that scarves were too much. I was going to make hats instead.
I have three really ugly, misshapen hats in my closet.
Still I forged on.
And now, I have a new scarf. It is still a misshapen. The rectangle is not quite smooth. And because I recycled some of the yarn from another failed project, it looks a bit off colour in some parts.
But I am happy with it...
So what have you been up to?