Last week, I posted my debut, Life’s Too Short for Dull Razors, Cheap Pens, and Worn-Out Underwear. The following is an excerpt from FROG Blog: Learning on a Lily Pad, book #2 of 6 published books so far. Each chapter is written in 300–500-word segments and can be read cover-to-cover or one mini chapter at a time.
Hip Waders: A Naked View of the Soul will launch later this year.
Enjoy your literary adventures, Christina
Chevrons (from p. 67, The FROG Blog: Learning on a Lily Pad)
My Mom taught me how to crochet when I was in elementary school. We began with chains, single crochet, double crochet and eventually crafted more elaborate patterns. Mom gravitated toward chevron designs. She varied colors and sizes, but her handiwork frequently showcased her signature “Chevron” stitch.
I remember how peaceful Mom looked when she crocheted. I’d sit next to her on the couch and pull yarn from the skein at a pace that matched her crochet flow. Her hands moved rapidly as she quietly repeated patterns in a song tempo. Her chevron “cadence” was, “ten crochet up; peak one; three double crochets; chain one; peak two; three doubles, head down the V; ten doubles; next mountain.”
As I became more skilled, Mom used yarn to weave deeper lessons. Using the chevron and comparing its shape to a mountain, she taught about life’s ups and downs. She explained how climbing, or crocheting, a mountain involves counting to ten. Both ascent and descent are vital because they each offer a different vantage. To finish any project with excellence, you cannot stop at the top or bottom of the “V”. Use God as your Trail Guide. See it to the end.
I watched Mom rip out several rows of her work sometimes because she made an error in her pattern’s foundation. She told me how one additional or a missed stitch creates a lop-sided blanket. I discovered the importance of counting stitches and fixing a mistake immediately. It took me one difficult lesson of not heeding Mom’s instruction. I realized I added two stitches and figured I could drop one stitch on either side of the row. In the end, I figured if the number remained the same, all would balance. Instead of correcting my work according to the pattern, I moved forward. Thirty rows later, let’s just say, my first blanket turned into a V with a small base and a huge fanned-out top.
Mom explained that when working with darker colored yarn (i.e. life’s valleys) I’d need to gently pull stitches apart for visual clarity. She used daylight to crochet the darker colors of a project and evening hours to crochet lighter shades. Sometimes answers become clearer in the morning than at night.
She reminded me to relax if I didn’t see a pattern take shape until I completed several rows. She’d calmly repeat, “Just keep working through it. Don’t worry about future stitches. You can only crochet one stitch at a time.” I learned that’s how to live more peacefully. To breathe one second at a time, to free myself from worry about the next minute, hour, week, or day.
Mom moved to heaven in 2015 but every time I start a crochet project, I “hear” her stitch cadences. They helped shape my life patterns. Foundations are vital, all colors matter, each stitch counts, all details make a difference to the Creator.
Casting a life hook and line from my Crochet and Pray chair,
To purchase audio or printed copies, go to The FROG Blog, Learning on a Lily Pad by Christina Eder, Paperback | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com)