A Personal Experience….

This was the first speech I gave for this Summer’s Communications class at HCC.  The assignment was to tell about a Personal Experience, and this one happened for me in 1982. 
I earned a 78 for my presentation, partly because I choked up with tears in the middle, and mostly because I did not end it according to form.
However, it does look okay as I do it in writing.

>>When a person buys yarn at a store, it is important to notice the DYE LOT number.  You see, when yarn is colored, it goes into a big tank of dye.  The first few bundles that go in get the beginning of the chemicals and turn out nice and bright.  The last few batches are more faded because of breakdown of the chemicals, so No DYE LOT is written on the band of the yarn.  These last ones are sold at bargain basement stores, even though the actual strands of yarn is strong, the color is also very important.  The idea that there are different shades of yarn will come into play in a little bit.

When I went to college years ago, I didn’t exactly go for an education.  I wanted to get away from home, to see new places, find new friends.  Although I went to every class during its scheduled meeting time, I did very little of the homework assignments or extras.
One thing got ahead of another, and I learned I was pregnant.  I finished that semester, then when my tummy started to show, I went to live in a home for unwed mothers.  My dad was very upset, and I did not want to cause more turmoil in his house.  Knowing I would be away from society for the most part, I took my crochet hooks and a big bag of yarn with me.  I planned on making an afghan for my sister who would be getting married in a couple months.

Some other girls saw what I was doing, and asked me to teach them to crochet.  There were about 7 girls, and I gave lessons and we really had a nice way to pass the time.
We got a sort of allowance while we lived there, to be used for personal items, like shampoo.  Many of the girls also had extra money from their family.  One girl’s mother bought a bunch of yarn, making sure the dye lot was the same and asked her daughter to crochet a blanket for her in time for Mother’s Day.

Another girl decided that she wanted to make a blanket for her baby.  She had no one who gave her extra money, so she would use part of her allowance to buy just one or two bundles of yarn a week.  She carefully crocheted, and ripped out a row when it wasn’t coming out right.  Because she bought yarn at low cost, and different places and times, there were shades of the colors.  One of the blues was so faded to be almost gray.

It was getting about time for me to be having my baby.  This girl was concerned that I would leave before she finished the blanket.  The border uses a different kind of stitch, so she asked me to do it.  There wasn’t time to teach her properly.  I used plain white yarn, leftover from one of my own projects, and did a nice edge, which actually covered up a couple of her beginner’s mistakes.

I had my baby in May,fairly close to the due date.  Very difficult, we each almost died. We went from the Delivery Room to our Intensive Care Units.  I was told I probably would not be able to have another.  When my dad heard that, he insisted that I bring the baby home, he did not want to lose either of us.  I gave the other girls at the home the address of my dad’s house.  I never expected to hear from them again.  The privacy laws can be very strict.

However, a couple months later, I got a birth announcement.  She said she had a baby boy in early July.  She wrapped him in the blanket, and handed him to a social worker, who took him to a church for all the legal paperwork to be done.  It was easier to give him up inside a church she said.  She said she would be returning to high school in the Fall, that my tutoring with math and spelling had been great.  She was forever grateful that I had taught her to crochet.  That was the last communication from her.

Fast forward almost three years.  We had gone through with a wedding, and we had moved to another city so that my husband could finish classes for his Bachelor’s.  At least one of us had to get a degree, and he was further ahead than I was.  I worked at a restaurant, and I said I was getting my PHT degree.  (Putting Hubby Through)  Our son was now about age two and a half, running ahead of me at the mall.

He stopped still in front of a stroller, looking at the little boy inside.  Have you ever noticed that? Little kids like to watch other little kids?  I went up and leaned over the stroller myself.  A little boy, about the age of my son, with big brown eyes and dark curly hair, and willing to ride in a stroller, which my son never wanted to do.  He took his first steps a few days after he turned 8 months old, and barely slowed down ever again.

And then I noticed the blanket the little guy was holding.  I dropped to my knees, right there in the mall in front of a stroller.  I said “That is a beautiful blanket.  Can I look at it?”

I should mention that the lady who had been pushing the stroller had come round and was standing beside it.  She was talking a mile a minute, but I could not tell you a word she was saying right then.
The little boy took his thumb out of his mouth, and handed a corner of the blanket up to me.  The lady stopped talking in mid-sentence and did a little gasp.

I carefully brought the blanket up out of the stroller.  I held it up, between me and the other woman because I did not want her to see my tears.  Almost three years, and that crocheted white border was again in my hands.  The colors and all their subtle dye shades were still evident.

I turned again to the little guy in the stroller and tucked his blanket back around him.  As I got back up to my feet, I told him,
“That’s a beautiful blanket.  Somebody sure cares about you to make something so pretty”.

The other woman realized this was her chance.  “Oh that, well, he’s adopted and his birth mother made it for him.  The middle of July, and the social worker handed him to me wrapped up in that.  I tried to take it off of him because it was so hot, but he grabbed on and has never let it go.  It has become his special one, and has to go everywhere with us.  It’s all I can do to get it from him for the laundry.  It’s holding up just fine though.”

I told her that my son had a special bear waiting back in his carseat, and we chatted a bit longer as mothers do, although I did not say anything I know about the origins of that blanket.
Then I took my son by the hand and we walked off down the mall one way, and she pushed her stroller the other.

I’ve crocheted many, many things over the years, but the one I remember the most had other hands helping to work on it.<<

~~love and Huggs, Diane

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