So, the other day I’m at Valley Radiology for an MRI. I’m dressed in the latest medical fashion of open back gown, pants and mary janes.
I’m directed to a waiting room right outside the MRI room to wait my turn. I take out my knitting and proceed to relax into the wonderful medical tradition of ‘hurry up and wait’.
A few moments later an elderly woman is escorted into the waiting room wearing the same fashionable gown as me. She carries with her a grandmother purse. You know, the kind of oversized purse that -like Mary Poppin’s famous bag- is capable of storing everything but the kitchen sink.
The elderly lady sat across from me and watched as I knitted.
“Oh, I could never get the hang of that. I always wanted to but no matter how I tried, I just could never make it work. I admire you for being able to knit.”
“Why, thank you.”, I said. A nice warm compliment was much appreciated, considering that I was knitting with my entire back side being blasted from the air conditioner.
She continued by saying, “Unfortunately, all know how to do is crochet. Not very fancy stuff, but I manage to get by.”
The elderly lady then proceeded to dig in her bottomless purse. She emerged moments later with what I could only describe as a jaw-dropping wonderful example of crochet lace.
“So, what are you making?”, I finally got around to asking after a few speechless moments in utter awe.
“Oh this thing? It’s just a tablecloth. I’ve made one for each of my kids and grandkids. Now my oldest grandchild just had a baby of her own so I’m making one for her to put into her daughter’s hope chest. It’s really nothing fancy. Just something to keep my hands busy. Its nothing like the knitting you’re doing.”
That was true, it was nothing like my knitting. I looked down at my simple sock. My knitting needles suddenly grew a tail and had it tucked between its legs, wanting to crawl back into my knitting bag. Apparently they didn’t feel worthy of being in the same room with such beautiful work. And I had to agree.
“Mame, I don’t think that in my lifetime I could ever knit something as beautiful as what you are crocheting.”
“Well, thank you dear. That’s very sweet of you to say.”
I was then called back for my MRI. As I tucked away my things and followed the nurse to the room, I took a small glance back at the woman to say goodbye. I noticed her cheeks had become a little rosier then they were before.
There is this strange stigma that still lingers among some crafters that somehow crochet is less than or beneath knitting. Well, its NOT! Crochet is just as beautiful and valuable as any knitted garment. With both crafts holding an almost equally long rich history, I see no reason to ever think that either craft is easier or better than the other. Some of us- myself included- enjoy doing both. And now we are even starting to see an increase in patterns that combine both crafts within the same garment.
For those of you who strictly crochet- never ever let any knitter look down their nose at what you do. Never feel you have to justify or compensate for the fact that you don’t knit. Be proud of your crochet. And if any knitter ever gives you static about crocheting just remember, a lace pineapple tablecloth done on a size 00 crochet hook trumps a knitted cardigan any day!