Maggie's Essay Contest: Thanks to Granny Bunger

Although Maggie has selected the top three entries, we want you to nominate your favorite essays for the People’s Choice award. The recipient of the award will win a package of crochet books and yarn totaling over $100.

To vote, click on the blog article. At the bottom of the article you will see a “Facebook like” button. The entry with the most likes by February 14th, 2012 wins. NOTE: You must have a Facebook account to participate. You can vote for as many essays as you want, but the top three entries do not qualify for this portion of the contest.

Thanks to Granny Bunger

BY: Whit Larson

My Granny Bunger was my father’s grandma. She was small and wrinkly and smelled like coffee and old afghans. And… I loved her so much. I loved her mostly because I wasn’t invisible to her. A lot of grownups don’t see children, but Granny saw me. Not only did she see me, she interacted with me. And, she taught me to crochet. I remember her teaching me when I was about 5-years-old and by the time she passed away, just after my 9th birthday, I was making those squares so aptly named after her. With those Granny squares began my love of design. You can make almost anything by crocheting a bunch of squares together! I didn’t learn to read a pattern until much later. To be honest, I didn’t know patterns existed until much later.

When I was 18, I learned to knit. Because of Granny, I was fearless. And, thanks to my experience with crochet, the hardest part – tension – was already learned. I made hats and scarves and sweaters and afghans – all knit & crocheted and all my own designs because I simply didn’t know any better. I didn’t know I was doing it the “hard” way. If you were to ask a roomful of children who among them is an artist every hand would go up. If you were to ask a roomful of adults the same question you would be lucky to see a single hand go in the air and it probably wouldn’t be a confident hand.

Because I learned to crochet so young I always believed I was an artist and so I was. At some point I did learn to read a pattern and I am glad of that because there are many beautiful designs that I have loved to follow (a lot of them from Maggie’s!). But I am so grateful to Granny for my ability to adapt a pattern or create my own. For example, this adorable Baby Tart hat (Knitty.com) was actually created from a knit pattern but, at least for me, bobbles are much easier to crochet than to knit and so I substituted a crochet bobble for the knit one in the pattern making it come together much quicker and easier.

And, as for creating my own patterns, I have designed many. I even had the opportunity to have a couple of them featured in Vickie Howell’s book, Pop Goes Crochet. As I have taught my daughter to crochet and watched her become quite good at it, I have tried to give her the same lack of fear that I grew up with. What about you? Do you crochet without fear? If you are still afraid of creating your own pattern or changing a pattern you are working on… what are you afraid of? Frogging can be therapeutic!  I challenge you to take a risk. Design something. Adapt something. Think of Granny Bunger. Try to remember how it felt to be an artist when you were nine. If I can do it, so can you. Do it!

Thanks for reading,

Hugs, Maggie

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