“Mom, this book is great–better than your books!” After a moment’s thought, my nine year old looked up from the pattern book on his lap. “Well. Yours are good, too.”
“I like this slug,” his younger brother announced on another afternoon, pointing to one of the creatures in Lesley Stanfield’s 75 Birds, Butterflies & Little Beasts to Knit and Crochet. “Why don’t you make slugs like that?”
“It is a good slug,” I answered (it’s actually a FABULOUS slug), “but I never learned to knit.”
“You should learn, so you can make that slug.”
Yes. Yes, I probably should.
I started selling my work when my sons were one and four, and mostly they’ve been more tolerant than interested. They’re good-natured about last-minute post office runs, and once in a while they’ll offer new product suggestions: crochet spaceships! crochet bazookas! crochet R2-D2!
But they have higher priorities. Building LEGO fortresses, for instance. Planning Mars colonies. Conducting running gun/blaster/sword/marker battles through the house. They have a lot on their plates, and pretty much all of it is more interesting than whatever I’m crocheting, THIS week. However, there are days when my craft becomes the target of their attention–with results that are usually both cute and guaranteed to keep my ego in check.
Both kids will occasionally ask me for a hook and a ball of yarn, and then curl up somewhere to try chain stitching. The little one says he’s planning to crochet flowers, slugs, and caterpillars, and the big one has a long list of blocks and edgings that he wants to make. At least, those are their stated goals. I consider it equally likely that a battalion of amigurumi Star Wars characters will soon be setting up a secret base in our house. (For all I know, they already have: my six year old’s gigantic stuffed animal collection would make perfect cover.)
My younger son also finds many non-crochet-related uses for my tools and materials. When one occurs to him, he doesn’t waste valuable time asking for either my opinion or my permission. After all, as a thread crocheter, I usually don’t even NOTICE when a ball of YARN goes missing… until I walk into the living room and discover that it’s been turned into a giant spiderweb. I’m more vigilant about my size 10 cotton, but rolls have still been known to vanish. (They show up later on the dining room table, with LEGO guys rappelling down the thread to attack their enemies on the floor below.)
Even when it comes to my precious steel hooks, he’s one step ahead of me. Any doubts on THAT score were dispelled the day I found two LEGO Clone Troopers standing guard on a windowsill, armed with blasters and a size 5 hook. (Apparently my child’s superpower is invisibility. I’m hoping he’ll use it for good and not evil.) My older son doesn’t go in for crochet burglary, but he does love books, and is quick to grab any new craft book that comes into the house. Once one falls into his hands, we can be confident that a review will follow shortly. (Books with bright colors get especially high marks from him, and the greater the design variety, the better.) While he’s refrained (so far) from completely panning any of my books, his highest praise is generally reserved for designers whose work he hasn’t been seeing around the house for months.
So when the advance copies of my new book 75 Exquisite Trims in Thread Crochet arrived and were greeted with the inevitable, “Hey, can I see one of those?” I knew better than to expect a glowing endorsement.
I went back to making dinner as he flipped pages, skimmed titles, and scrutinized motifs. After several minutes of frowning concentration, he pronounced the verdict.
“Mom, this is really good!” he said, sounding vaguely surprised. There was a pause, and I waited for the BUT. “I like it!”
He liked it?
He LIKED it!