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January 1, 2004 – My grandma taught me how to crochet. I took to it quickly and with great enthusiasm.

10 years and a month later, I’m conversely in a deep rut of lethargy about my crochet. I look at my Ravelry project page – 239 projects listed! – and see simple things that I probably could have made just a few months after I started crocheting (excluding the tiny earrings). Have I only come so far in this decade?

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Now, this is actually rather ridiculous of me. I enjoy the things I make. They are bright, pretty, and can bring happiness to other people. I mostly enjoy making them, although my stalled cardigan and ever-slowing progress on a laceweight shawl are indications otherwise.

So what if I don’t make things that are impressive demonstrations of my skills (such that I imagine they are)? So what if I look at complicated patterns and decide they’re not worth the aggravation?

Not everything in my life has to be a challenge.

Long way of getting around to my current WIP, one that I’m progressing rather quickly on, at least.

Last year, I met a lovely woman just a week before she was set to move back to America. A poet, dancer, photographer and literature PhD, she impressed me with her thoughtfulness and humor. We’ve remained in occasional friendly contact since then through Facebook.

Earlier this month, she announced the publication of a book of her photos and musings about life in Taipei. When I asked her where I could buy it, she insisted on mailing me a copy as gift instead.

It’s a deeply evocative little book. It pulls at my heart. The loneliness she felt in that unfamiliar city makes me wish we’d met sooner. We might have walked some of it together instead of alone.

I’m no artist; I am a crafter. I make pretty things based on patterns other people write or improvise simple things based on my decade of experience.

I make no statements with my work. If pressed, I’d say I think that yarn unites. That I learned a craft from my grandmother, who learned it from her mother. That we make things for other people (including total strangers) to show our care for them, gifts looping us to one another in warmth and color.

In return for Irene’s book, sent to me with love (so says the inscription), I’m sending her a lacy, pretty scarf, made with love. Gossy’s adding warmth and purrs.

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Pattern: Queen Anne’s Lace Scarf

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