I have a wonderful mother, and as I have grown, she has become a great friend. But today, for this blog, I want to write about my mother-in-law. She was a crafter par-excellence: rug hooking, knitting, crochet. We lost her too soon; she passed away in 2007. Two days ago, I said to my husband, “I am really missing your mother right now. I’m having trouble with this pattern; I can’t figure it out, and I know she could have helped me.” It’s true.
Here’s another great story about my mother-in-law and my dad. One time my parents and in-laws were together and somehow the conversation came around to blankets and napping. My father mentioned that blankets were not long enough for him. He was 6’2″ and always found the standard blanket too short to truly cover the feet and come up to the chin. So, my mother-in-law said, “I’ll make you a blanket, and in return you can paint me a picture.” (Both pictured below) My dad had taken up oil painting in his retirement and was really quite good. So, my mother-in-law and my dad struck a bargain. Two weeks later, my mother-in-law delivered the blanket; my dad was still working on the idea for the painting. He did eventually deliver a beautiful painting of birds through a kitchen window; however, he often laughingly related that he took so long compared to her speed. And her work was flawless. Dad always called her afghan “the magic blanket.” He said as soon as he pulled it up, he instantly fell asleep.
My mother-in-law was devoted to her crafting, particularly rug hooking. Her work was intricate, and she continually worked to improve her skills. In addition to regularly attending the Great Neck Women’s Club, where she met with other like-minded women, she also went on retreats for rug hooking. One time, she arrived at the retreat site in New Hampshire to be welcomed with the banner “Hookers and Priests Welcome.” Apparently two retreats were taking place that weekend, and either someone didn’t think about the implications of the wording or was having a bit of fun! My husband always said he wish she had taken a picture so we could have sent it in to The Tonight Show.
As for me, my mother-in-law taught me something indispensable. She taught me how to read a crochet pattern. Without her assistance, I couldn’t do a fraction of what I do. I miss her and wish I had more time with her, more time for her to teach me.
And my mother-in-law also had a sense of humor. Check out the detail of her “business” card below.