Tuesday, July 04, 2006


I took this photo a year ago, but it's where I spent my morning today, down on the Hudson, spiritually taking a deep breath on this holiday that's shaping up to be instead a busy-day. Living in New York for five years has helped me learn how to find a quiet solace even as dozens of people pass by my park bench. Personal space is redefined when you share a 12-mile long island with 4 million others.

In other news, I've been taking the crochet on the road a lot this week. To the movies, on the subway (where this great, tough-guy guy told me how he wanted to learn how!), and I'll take it on my trip this weekend. I'm telling you, those squares are addictive.

Monday, July 03, 2006


With apologies to Kim, I confess that this weekend I have fallen in love with the granny square.

I've been crocheting for 15 months, and these are my first squares. I bought the yarn to make a poncho for Mom, but lots of unsuccessful swatching convinced me it was too scratchy for her.

At some stage, I got the inspiration to make a blanket, inspried by the "Modern Afghan" pattern in Erika Knight's Simple Crochet book to think that granny squares can be modern, sophisticated, retro-in-a-good-way, and chic.

I'm not sure if I've achieved any of those things, but I still love these squares. I love the colors, I love how quick they are to finish, I love the soft look of them. But I also feel like I need to apologize for them. I told a friend today, "I don't usually go in for the more traditional crochet, but I think these colors are beautiful together and it's a modern take on the classic pattern." Maybe it is. And maybe it's just an aspect of the craft that has been passed down through generations and it is what it is. It's beautiful because of it's tradition.

My grandmother tried to teach me to crochet when I was nine. I'd learned to knit around that time (it didn't stick), but crochet was difficult for my brain to grasp, especially after my fingers had just memorized the motions required to knit. Now, years after my grandmother's passing, as I've picked up crochet, I feel a connection with her in it. I don't remember if my grandmother made granny squares, but I think of her when I do. I think of the unborn baby girl who will likely receive the blanket they'll make.

I'm reminded of the beautiful women around my life as I crochet the traditional granny squares for this classic afghan as I travel around New York City. Perhaps being on the cutting edge is overrated. I'd much rather just create something beautiful.