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Home : Community : Customer Gallery : Shepherd's Hook in My Pocket
 

Customer Projects - Get Inspired

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Shepherd's Hook in My Pocket
Created By: KATHLEEN GRIFFIN

My grandmother Mary was one of those people who could look at a photo and recreate an entire design, knitted or crocheted. She sat in Riverside Park with her Harlem neighbors, gossip and needles or hooks flying through the summer days. The people she wanted to teach were all uninterested in learning, so she refused to teach my mother or me. But after 8 years of begging her, I learned anyway at 16!



The local branch of the public library had shelves of mostly untouched books on needlework. I read them all! My sympathetic mother scrimped to buy me a couple I wanted badly! Learning from photographs, I developed an unusual style, but never looked back.



Cross-stitch, crewel, needlepoint, tatting, a little knitting, but mostly I crocheted. When a teenaged cousin wanted a 70s mesh vest and news'boy cap, I invented a pattern. I crocheted a pink-eared mouse for a class-mate who collected mice (she was rather startled! so was the professor who saw it on her desk!). Friends and former students received afghans for weddings, babies, and house-warmings -- one sends me samples of new slip-covers so I can match an afghan to her new sofa.



I taught my mother to crochet, to her pleasure, and her Starburst afghan and others are in my home. Recently I've been working as a substitute home health care aide, with an 89 year old women who knitted expertly until arthritis stopped her. She became a little jealous of my crocheting, watching it grow as I waited for her -- at 89 she moves slowly! So in February 2007 I taught her to crochet. She finished a pillow and is working on a skirt!



Every year I take a batch of blocks for Warm-Up America to the Great American Knit-Out (though not 2007 -- alas it's not in NYC this year), and make half a dozen cap and muffler sets for childrens' charities, stoles for wheelchair patients, etc. I crochet before and after classes, and encourage my POL 101/ENG 110 Learning Community students to crochet or knit for charities as a way of engaging with the community. Not everyone can serve in a soup-kitchen or a shelter, but making something to cheer a child takes little time even for the shyest person!



After 42 years my hands are creaky too from arthitis. However, one of Agatha Christie's mysteries suggests an idea: Miss Marple knits in the morning, to loosen her stiff fingers before she gets out of bed. It works with crochet too! So I think I'll go on indefinitely, sheparding a little, crocheting a lot, and warming others as much as possible.





 
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