My mother told me that when I was a little kid, like 3 or 4 years old, my grandmother crocheted a hat for me.
This is a photo of my grandmother and me, maybe a bit before the incident, I don’t have a photo with the hat.
While looking through a magazine she saw a little kid wearing a granny square hat, so she made me one. She knit three granny squares, connected them in a row, added ties, and gave me the hat. The thing is, my mother says I wouldn’t wear the hat because my grandmother wasn’t finished with it yet. Evidently I recognized that there needed to be a forth square in the back, stitched to the first three to make a hat shape. My grandmother didn’t realize this, she just knew she had to crochet the ones she saw, she wasn’t thinking about the structure in the back. So, the poor woman went off and made the forth granny square, added it to the back of the hat, and then I wore it. I remember the hat, I remember I liked wearing it. I do not remember sending my granmother back to finish it.
Little kids are cute as a life saving device, I suspect.
This is the grandmother who taught me how to knit, btw. She taught me when I was about 5, having me knit a purple headband (it was the 70s) – 7 stitches across. It bored the bejeezus out of me, so much so that I never finished it. I’d pick it up every few years, having to add a few more rows since my head was bigger (figuratively and physically) every time.
It took until a Boston Ski and Sports Club trip to Italy in 2004 to get me into knitting. I understood it differently at that point. Instead of a headband shaped hole in space, it was the process of knitting that made the hobby interesting. Maybe by then I had lived a life of deadlines at my day job, and sitting down to quiet time to work with beautiful yarn was a reward in itself. (Italy had some gorgeous yarn.)
Since 2004 I have been knitting. And while spending my days working on a team designing computer chips, I would doodle knitwear designs and patterns in my notebook.
About three years ago I had an idea for a shawl design that I couldn’t believe no one had come up with before. The universe needed this, so I have been trying to make it happen ever since.
The idea? Police boxes in a tiled rhombus pattern (I, also, had to look up the name even though I’ve seen a tiled rhombus pattern a thousand times.)
I tried and tried to make this concept a reality when I was working, I just couldn’t get it done.
Fortunately, I lost my job last September.
Seriously, I had been planning, nesting, saving, and preparing for a lay off in my office since we were bought by the last company. So when the day came, I was the happiest person in the room. As I walked out I realized other people weren’t happy – at all, so I told them “Don’t worry, I’ll be sad later.” They laughed. They were happy for a minute, anyways; laughing at or with me? I wasn’t sure.
Turns out I lied. It didn’t happen, I wasn’t sad.
I was thrilled. I could finally get this idea on a .pdf and up on Ravelry.
I thrashed around a little bit. I was always driven by adrenalin at the day job, and now I was living with no time restrictions, no place restrictions. Possibility was my restriction. The hardest thing, I found, about leaving corporate America was time management and direction.
Three things helped me get this pattern done.
2. A time tracking tool for my smart phone to make sure I was managing my time wisely.
3. Kate Atherley’s ebook, Pattern Writing for Knit Designers
And, well, here it is. Published.
My mother told me the story about the hat when she knew I was publishing my pattern. I think she is proud of me for finally getting these ideas out there in the world now.
I do wish my grandmother knew.
P.S. Special thanks to my test knitters, Christina and Wendy, for invaluable feedback.
P.P.S. I think everyone else on my chip design team got jobs, and I hope everyone is happy in their new situations.