It can be a hard lesson to accept, but sometimes the splashiest and most intricate thing we make that are the most important to us, are not the most important to others.
Case in point: a crochet cancer awareness ribbon I designed.
It was a design born of necessity one afternoon in March of 2013.
A friend from high school was having a fundraiser to help pay for her husband’s medical treatments related to a soft tissue sarcoma, and one part of the fundraiser was a spaghetti dinner. Could I, she wondered, make some crochet cancer awareness ribbons to use as decorations?
I was determined to do anything I could to help, so I said yes.
I was already working on a small sunflower afghan to be raffled off at the same dinner, how much work could a few crochet ribbons be?
As it turned out, depending on the pattern used, a few crochet ribbons could be a lot of work, and as the afghan was not yet done and had to be both finished and sent, I needed to figure out another way, and I needed to figure it out fast.
I had found a number of wonderful designs that, had I had another six weeks, would have been perfect. But I needed something that could work up a little more instantly. I was the only crocheter I had working on the two projects — I was desperate.
Desperation can both cloud and illuminate your vision, and this was one instance where my desperation helped me see things I needed to see.
The pattern I had found and tested had resulted in a ribbon that was both too large and took more time than I had, but using what I learned from the design that didn’t work, in just over an hour’s time I had smaller crochet cancer awareness ribbon which took just minutes to make.
After taking quick but complete notes to which I could refer, I got back to work, dividing my time between cancer awareness ribbons, sunflower squares, and weaving in ends.
It was the kind of work that could be fit into either small bits or large swaths of time, and after thinking I could not possibly make the deadline, I did make the deadline, and outside of my ever popular “crochet chair leg socks,” the crochet cancer awarness ribbon is my most viewed crochet pattern.
But unlike the chair leg socks it is a design that touches people’s hearts in a way that most of my work has not.
One mother of a cancer survivor wrote to thank me for the pattern. It turned out that one December her budget was very tight, and there wasn’t room in it for the Make-A-Wish ornament she usually bought for her daughter.
Instead, she used the free pattern I had posted on my website to make a cancer awareness ribbon Christmas ornament which her daughter loved.
So while I imagine my crochet fame will come from an afghan with lots of small pieces and several thousand ends to weave in, the truth is, it is the simpler designs that fit into the rhythm of the lives around me, and I am grateful to each and every crocheter who has used one of my patterns and, in doing so, allowed me into their homes and their lives.