Yarn over hook. Pull through the loop. Yarn over hook. Pull through both loops.” I can still hear my mother’s voice as she taught me how to crochet. “Keep the tension on the yarn consistent.” “That’s it.”

I started by crocheting single chains of long strands to decorate the Christmas tree. Then, I moved onto popcorn, yes, for the Christmas tree. Now, I crochet almost anything, if it has a pattern. At night, when I watch Netflix (more Stargate Universe tonight – Yippee!), I sew. Sometimes I work on a prayer shawl; sometimes I cross-stitch baby gifts; sometimes I work on Dave’s blanket (that I’ve been working on for a year now. Sigh.)

Something about handwork sooths me. The repetition of the pattern. The simplicity of the task. The order of a pattern. Some days it’s what I look forward to most, after seeing the people I love.

My mom works this way, too. Sprawled in her “nest” as my dad calls it, baby sweaters and quilts draped across her. We spend a lot of time together this way, watching HGTV and sewing. There’s great communion there.

Now that it’s fall, I’ll be back into the yarn full-tilt. When the sun goes down early, I want to hunker into the house, pull out my tote bag of work, and ease into stillness. “Yarn over hook. Pull through one loop. . . . ”

Learning to Crochet