Thanks to the hands-on guidance of an experienced knitter and crocheter, Miss Sophie Mae Dean of New Orleans/Chalmette, I learned more than 25 years ago how to make yarn crafts and how to read patterns and make patterns. My first project was a butterfly-shaped refrigerator magnet, which soon became decorative housewarming gifts. Those summer job daily lunch break lessons led to the creation of so many baby layette sets (sweater, booties, bonnet, thumbless mittens and blanket) year after year. Later the projects helped balance daily engineering projects by giving me a chance to relax while creating yet another timeless piece.
All of the expectant and new mothers that have been presented gifts were overwhelmed with joy and have repeatedly informed me that my hand made items have become part of their treasured keepsakes to be passed down from generation to generation.
More than 20 years later, people are still telling me they still have and use the adult afghan I made for them during my high school days, and that it has outlasted through wash after wash longer than newer items purchased in stores.
I began making scarves, hats and handbags for others as well. Ironically, I've only recently begun making items for myself (scarves, hats, sweaters, ponchos and more), and now I personally know the joy and quality of wearing and using hand made knit or crocheted items. Since moving to the east coast, I don't have to worry about freezing because with one of my thick hand made scarves or set of mittens, I'm usually the one standing outside smiling and unmoved as if it's a hot summer day.