Counting Stitches

It is 6 am est, and it is cold here.

The piedmont region of North Carolina is not exactly known to be cold, but it is cold here. This is partly because this house is settled into a fairly wooded, elevated plot of land, but it's mostly because it's a hundred goddamn years old, and the windows, if I had to take a guess, are made of hardtack candy. 

The point is that it's cold. And by extension, I am cold. 

So I'm going to crochet a blanket. Or at least, the coldness is my flimsy motivation for practicing crocheting.

I am not "good" at crocheting, which isn't to say that I don't enjoy it. I just don't produce perfect afghans, and every scarf I've ever made is slightly crooked, which, by my own standards, is fine. But like many people, I was taught to crochet by my Grandmother, who is both a precision-oriented woman and the teacher of hard lessons.

When I was first learning, I brought her a dishcloth that I had been working on. It was a twenty stitch by twenty stitch dishcloth that I had been fighting with for a couple of days, and I was coming close to the end but hadn't yet learned how to finish it. So I brought it to her.

"Grandma, how do I—" before I could even complete my sentence, she had taken out my hook and unraveled the entire dishcloth. She then cut the yarn off the skein and threw it in the trash.

"You missed a stitch the second row in," she explained. 

I was not particularly interested in this explanation. 

It was a little hurtful, yes, but I'm definitely better for it. And as I would come to find out  after coming to my mother angry, crochet hook in hand, having your first project ripped out by your Grandmother was a right of passage for any woman learning to crochet in our family. She herself had learned to count her stitches when her Grandmother ripped out half of her first afghan. So count your stitches and save yourself the hurt, I guess.

But I don't know. Seems to me that they could have just pointed out where we screwed up and reminded us to count our stitches so our future work would be better. Regardless, it worked. I now count every stitch, meticulously.

I still skip one or two, of course, but only out of spite.