When I learned to crochet, it was later in life and I took a course at our local adult night school program. I’ve recently discovered that this taught me a skill that some far, far more experienced crocheters don’t always have.

My husband’s aunt has been crocheting for over 50 years. More years than I have been alive. She is one of those people who does not use a pattern.  She learned the stitches, and uses them to make beautiful afghans. This year, she had her grand daughter with her at the craft store and was asked to create a pretty lacy shawl from one of those pads of free tear-off patterns that hang in the aisles in all the big-box craft stores.

She had the pattern, she bought the yarn, but there was one problem. Crochet language was completely foreign to her. It’s a feeling I understand being in that same situation not too long ago. I was lucky that my instructor offered a class one semester in learning to read patterns and charts and that got me “fluent” in crochet.

I was able to spend a few hours with her, and after we caught up on everything that was going on in each other’s immediate families, we sat down with her pattern sheet and I translated it for her, writing it out in English and making a small swatch just to be sure I got it right. I can’t wait to see her finished project.  It’s going to be a white and gold lacy shawl and I know it will be beautiful.