Once upon a peaceful Sunday morning in May, in the midst of a charming breakfast à deux with Mr. M, I fell victim to one of the deadliest viruses known to woman. What was this virus, and how did it strike? Listen as the enthralling tale unfolds.
May, as you must know, is allergy month in Wisconsin. (Actually every month seems to be allergy month in Wisconsin. But when the sap rises in spring, so do the histamine levels. We blow our noses a lot.) So, in a not uncommon request, Mr. M asked me for a tissue - thinking, no doubt, that I had one secreted about my person. Being for the nonce tissueless, I got up and walked over to his desk to get one.
And there it sat, unaware of the woolly power it was shortly to unleash - the seemingly innocuous tissue box. Powder blue. Printed with blue roses. In a room full of sage green, terra cotta and brick red. (Where was the box of tasteful pale green printed with brown stripes, chosen with care by myself? Sinister forces had been at work - in other words, Mr. M had put out a new box without paying attention to colour schemes. So like a man.)
I got Mr. M his tissue and sat back down. But I couldn't stop thinking about that blue box. I turned around and looked at it again.
And that's when it happened. My eyes narrowed. A small voice inside my brain said, "Wouldn't it look better with a crocheted cover?"
My Quilting Self, long dormant, whispered, "Wait. We could piece something.We have tons of fabric."
"No!" responded newly imperious Crochet Self. "We have yarn to use up."
"We're always making scarves," objected Quilting Self.
"Scarves? Ha! They live in the bedroom. AND they get put away in summer," countered Crochet Self. "The quilts are all over the walls. Year round!"
Beading Self awoke from its nap, listened for a moment, and went back to sleep. It had no part in this contest.
"But ... we have a few doilies..." Quilting Self faltered.
"One doily to about six quilts. I've been outnumbered far too long. It's yarn or nothing," said Crochet Self, "and that's final. Now, how should we make this? Freeform or motifs? Hmmm...."
Resistance was futile. Quilting Self retired in defeat. The symptoms were unmistakeable.
I'd finally caught the virus, you see. It took about 30 years, but it got me in the end. It gets every crocheter sooner or later: the urge to cover things with crochet. It's not enough that we wrap our laps, heads, necks, wrists, feet, and furniture in the beloved craft. We need more worlds to conquer.
Crochet is just so versatile. It's the Legos of fibre arts. We can make anything we want: any shape, any contour, any size, given yarn enough and time.
And so there comes a moment in every crocheter's life when she (or he) begins to grasp the true potential of this amazing craft. That's when the virus hits us. That's when the ideas start to flow.
You've probably experienced it yourself. One day you're making humble square potholders. You progress to circles and hexagons. You start spending more time on Ravelry. You discover Crochet Pattern Central.
Then the bug bites, and you find yourself thinking, "Wow. I could crochet a Klingon warbird. Heck, I could crochet a chess set. I could (gasp) crochet a REAR VIEW MIRROR COZY WITH BEADED SPIRAL DANGLES! The world is my skein!" (Thunder and lightning would be appropriate here.)
Never mind whether crocheting such items is useful or practical. We do it because we can. We cover things because they're there (cue the soaring music) and because it's FUN. Which is why you find Smart Cars wrapped in crochet, and potholes in Paris stuffed with giant chain stitches. (Google these if you don't believe me.) And why Ravelry and Crochet Pattern Central are full of patterns for toilet paper covers and cell phone cozies and hot sauce bottle toppers.
Somehow I'd always remained immune to such delights. But that was before the virus got me. Now I sat in a fever of impatience for the meal to end and the dishes to be washed. Because I had a tissue box cover to crochet.
I couldn't wait to pick out some yarn and get started.
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