Buried among the dusty boxes of fabric scarps, patterns, and notions, I found a box bursting with Sitto’s hand-crocheted afghans, the era of their creation captured forever in the color selection–the earthy brown hues of the 1970s or the bright, neon colors of a blanket made in the 1980s–all warm, familiar, and comforting. Because she grew up during the Depression, not a yard of yarn was wasted. Any scraps from garments she made were turned into what Sitto liked to make best–afghans. Sitto’s children and grandchildren all have afghans that she made–zigzagged or shell patterned, with her signature stripe.

My own Sitto afghan, with its random stripes of bright color, is hanging over the back of the couch in our playroom. We were unpacking from a move recently when I pulled the blanket out of a box of linens. My five-year-old daughter said, “Mmm–this rainbow-lightning blanket is comfy. Can I sleep with it tonight?” I told her it was at the end of my bed the whole time I was growing up. I took it tot college, and it has followed me everywhere. “Sitto made this.” She’s heard that refrain before. The house is sprinkled with keepsakes made by my Grandmother Helen, my mother’s mother, Sitto. In Arabic, “Sitee” means grandmother, but in our famil (we emigrated from Syria in the beginning of the last century) we’ve always said “Sitto.”

This is an excerpt from my contribution to Hooked: A Crocheter’s Stash of Wit and Wisdom edited by Kari Cornell. My story is called “No Bed of Roses,” and it’s about my Grandmother and her influence on my crochet. I got my copies of the book last week, but they didn’t go on sale until yesterday, so I was waiting to crow about it. There are some really great stories in here. Jennifer Hansen has a cool one called “Thrift Store Crochet;” there are stories from Marti Miller, Lily Chin, and Gwen Blakely Kinsler, and lots more.

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