Wednesday, April 20, 2005

My Story


It was 1975 and I was 10 years old. My mom was (and still is) a die-hard knitter, probably the best I've ever seen. Every night after finishing all the chores, she knit, and it was during the winter of 1975 that I started my first knitting project, it was a scarf in my school colors, blue and gold. It was uneven, lumpy and so ugly that I hid it, never wore it, and eventually threw it away because I was so embarrassed. Later that winter, my mom gave me a crochet hook from my grandmother Rose and taught me to chain and single crochet, I've been crocheting ever since. I still have that size K Boye silver hook. It is my favorite hook. It's worn, chipped edges makes me wonder about all the projects my grandmother must have done, for necessity. The sweaters, socks, mittens, all for need, never for hobby.

I was crocheting when crocheting wasn't cool, so I hid it from just about everyone in my life, except for my family and a few close friends. I kept my secret well and crocheted in solitude. It became my salvation during a crazy and confusing time in my life and kept me grounded. I wonder what would have become of my life if I didn't crochet. In retrospect, I think I needed crochet to survive and it became my excuse to “leave the party.” Of course, I’d never tell someone I was going home to crochet a few rows before bed. Just imagine?! I hung out with a wild rock & roll crowd in the 80’s when heavy metal ruled. In the 90's, I went to Sturgis and rode with the Harley crowd for a bit, and funny thing, I’ve always crocheted and always hid it from my friends. I was afraid of what they'd think of me.

I’ve mellowed and my wild days are just memories in my photo albums. I straightened up and went to college, got a real job in the software industry and worked as a software tester for almost 10 years. I married this great guy who accepted me for who I am and I didn't have to hide the fact that I crocheted! In fact, he encouraged it. We have 2 beautiful boys, a dream home, and I have all the love that I could ask for. I'm now the CEO of Gillette Household, Inc. (yep, I'm an "at home Mom".)

So here I am, I have been crocheting for 30 years and I've crochet just about everything, for every member of my family, my husband's family, all of my dear friends, their babies, and even some people I don't know. I proudly crochet in public, I crochet for charity, I belong to several crochet groups and have a great sense of the crochet community.

I began designing crochet patterns for my first son. When he was born, I wanted a baby hat with ear flaps. I designed and crocheted 3 of them. It all started with baby items, and I've been designing patterns ever since. When I started designing crochet patterns for women, I hoped they’d reflected my personality; hip and funky, hopefully a dash of elegance, and never boring.
My range goes from fitted and sexy, to boxy and comfy.

In 2004 I founded a crochet group called The Knotty Generation. We are taking a trend and turning it into a way of life, connecting a tradition that in years past was taught from mother to daughter for necessity, now we are embracing this as our own hobby, on our own terms, with some unique twists.

Writing a crochet book is my dream job, cultivated from my longest held and dearest hobby. Could life get any better when you combine your hobby and your work? It is like you just can't keep the smile off your face because you are doing what you love. That's my crochet story.

15 comments:

Justine said...

Pam, your story touched me a lot.

Vik said...

I've enjoyed reading your story, Pam!

Anonymous said...

Pam, this story is so sweet, I tell my kids, "always be true to yourself." You sure are! (and you don't look 40, remeber 40 is the new 30!) Mary

Ukanie said...

Your story is great, you write well and are an 'easy read'. I too find comfort in my crafts, I would not survive without being able to create.

Anonymous said...

I liked the part about how you still have your old crochet hook. I'm almost 19, and learned how to crochet from my beloved Grandma when I was 6 years old and still have my old Dark Green Boye K crochet hook. I don't use it much at all, and it's been lost a lot, but I will always treasure it.
Anyways!! God Bless, and Merry Christmas!!
Good Story.

Julee

Lovin' Locks said...

Pam,

I stumbled upon your site looking for a rasta tam (knit) pattern for a colleague. Pam, you have got to go for it (the book). I just "met" you albeit cyberlly and I am so proud of you.

Keep at it woman. You are beautiful and an inspiration.

Cyber hugs,


Lovin' Locks

THAT CROCHET GUY said...

Hi Pam,

just read your Crochet Story. It hit close to home. I learned in the early 70's while in college (Penn State), got really into it, making things for students, fraternities and soroities, and even a couple local boutiques.

But when I came home (Philly), I noticed a different reaction about a guy who crochets.....not a good one. So, I too, didn't tell too many people about it. if they saw something I made that I wore, I just tell them my girlfriend or Mom made it.

Years went by, and as I got older, times changed a little, and by the 90's, I decided to say, "What the hell!!!" " I've been enjoying this gift for all this time, why not be proud of it!!"

Well, you know the rest, so, thanks for sharing your story.

Ken

Anonymous said...

I too was surfing for a rasta hat pattern for my 18 year old nephew and read your story...its good to be 40...we can say that we have 30+ years crochet experience...I too learned from my mom when I was 10 -- in 1976! and a family friend taught me a granny square...you know the rest is history...I'm glad that "crochet is cool" now...I don't have to "hide" it anymore! PEACE!

Cheryl :)

LOVE IT said...

I think you have the coolest job ever!

kalurah said...

I love your story, Pam! So inspiring.
I have a morbid fear of Knitting. Crocheting just "feels" right!
You're stuff is all just beautiful!
Glad I found you. :)

CelticMommy said...

It is so wonderful to read your story about crocheting. I took up knitting & crochet when I was taught by my Grandma during high school and then stopped for about 15 years... picked up a hook and haven't looked back. It's hard when you are the only one in your whole circle who crochets so all my support comes from online friends. I'm so glad to have found you! :-)

Melanie said...

I love your story! My mother taught me how to crochet when I was younger and I made a afghan for my neice and then stopped after that. I recently miscarried my first baby in March and just started crocheting again as a hobby about 2 weeks ago. I can say that it has helped me in my grieving stage of my loss. I feel that I can make booties and different things for babies and give them to their parents for their brand new bundle of joy. Thanks again. I would love to follow you on your blog.

Freda said...

My name is Freda. I began knitting back in the 40's. My grandmother taught me so my hands would always be busy. She also taught me to crochet and I love both. She also taught me to spin on the navajo spindle. I have since graduated to a spinning wheel - unless I'm traveling. I just downloaded your cowgirl hat and plan to crochet it with plastic bags. Not quite as romantic as seagrass but cheaper and for someone on a fixed income that is a blessing. I've survived cancer and now love to help others by spinning their hair blended with silk or wool and then knitting/crocheting the resulting fiber into hats for them to wear. Thus, they can say "I still have my hair." Thank you so much for the pattern. It helps out when funds are limited for people like you to remember us

filidoro said...

My name is Susy and I live in Italy, I worship crochet and I think that crochet is Beautiful art.
Your story is wonderful. filidoro

Anonymous said...

Oh my this hits close to home honey, don't let anyone break you down, go get your yarn on!