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Home : Community : Customer Gallery : My Sister's Legacy
 

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My Sister's Legacy
Created By: Sarah Collins

My sister Jane was 12 years older than me, and when she died in 1991 she left me a legacy which has enriched my life since I was six.



I was a sick little girl with rheumatic fever and I wasn't allowed to do much. With four children my mother was busy and I was left to myself a lot.



It was 1966 and crochet fever was sweeping England, with pretty patterns in pastel coloured synthetics in every magazine. My 18 year old sister had bought a hook and some daffodil yellow yarn and worked out how to make a sweater. I was fascinated with this new activity and watched her for days, getting told off for playing with the spare balls.



Finally, she finished. I was enchanted - how did you make such fairy-fine clothes? It seemed like a miracle. Jane told me it was just plain patience and time. If I had lots of those, I would be good at it! She sat me down, showed me how to hold the hook and make a chain, a single crochet, a double and a shell pattern. Se was right - this was something I was good at, and in later years her six year old daughter played with the first dolls' clothes I crocheted with those oddments of yellow yarn.



On my 21st birthday, now a healthy active girl studying languages, I found an envelope in my pigeonhole at university. It contained a birthday card from my sister and a handmade crochet collar -with a copy of the pattern! This renewed my early zest for the craft, which was falling out of favour by the 1980s. I still have the crochet lace collars and edgings and use the tablecloths I made whilst I was studying for my dreaded 'finals'!



Then in the 1990s, I found my hobby back in fashion and as a hard up bachelor girl buying her own house I blessed my sister's gift as I worked my way through a new summer wardrobe of stylish crochet tops and jackets! By that time we had natural yarns in cotton, silk and mohair in a range of rainbow colours.



Last year, I was googling and came across an American website for yarn fans. They had crochet square exchanges going, and I put my name on the list, without much hope that anyone would want an English partner.



I was wrong. Donna and I have been sending each other red, white and blue crochet squares for over a year. Our aim is a pair of patriotic afghans, one each side of the Atlantic, one celebrating the stars and stripes and the other the union jack! I have found Lion Brand because this is the yarn she swears by, and I love the free patterns she sends every month with the squares (no spinner in Britain GIVES patterns away - you buy them with the yarn and only if you buy the specified yarn)!



Best of all, I have a friend on the other side of the world who does the same thing as I do whilst she watches the TV.



So I thank my sister for passing on a skill which has lasted a lifetime. And I'm still finding new crochet fashions - I just finished my first crocheted felted handbag!



 
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