Over the years I’ve acquired a few skills that aren’t commonly associated with men. The only one I will mention today, perhaps ever, is that I crochet stuff. I learned from my Aunt Bert when I was 8 years old and have never forgotten how. I can follow patterns and everything.
There was a long lull in this kind of activity during my Navy career, but toward the end, when I went on several WESTPAC cruises, back to back, I picked it up again. A WESTPAC cruise, in case you’re wondering, is when the ship one is assigned to sails West to various points of interest in the Western Pacific rim. On the way they always stop at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. On the last two we stopped at Iwo Jima, not normally part of these kind of trips. Other locations are the Philippines Islands, Hong Kong, Australia, Korea, Japan, to name a few.
Anyway, spending time at sea for extended periods gives one a lot of free time once all the training evolutions are done for the day. So, I picked up my needle and yarn and started making doilies. They’re simple and quick, allowing me to get the feel for the needle once again. It’s like riding a bicycle.
When this activity began I was a Chief Petty Officer so had relative privacy in the CPO Mess. The challenge, mentally, was to get past the odd looks I received from the embarked Marines. I’m talking Gunnery Sergeants and up to Sergeant Majors. Tough guys, putting it mildly. These were the warriors we carried and they were ready to make an assault any where, any time. They trained incessantly so what they saw me doing was not a manly thing to do. Making doilies, for criminy sakes. Go figure.
After a few days, however, they accepted my behavior and started giving me sideways glances to see what I was making. When they started seeing finished products they approached me to see about making a trade for something so they could get one for their significant others. I obliged, of course, trading for various pieces of Marine gear.
Some of these doilies, and a table cloth I made, were sent to my Mom who, without my knowledge, entered them all in the Columbia County Fair. When I learned about this I also learned that I never got less than 2nd place competing with all the professional crocheters in the county. Not bad. Mom had all my ribbons mounted in a picture frame. Pretty special.
After retiring from the Navy I discovered a pattern for snow people so I made dozens of them and most of my family have them and haul them out at Christmas time when they know I’m going to visit. Diane thinks I should work on them all year round and sell them at craft fairs. I don’t do that, however, because then it would be a job. I’ve had jobs and don’t want another one. So, its a casual thing.
Here’s what they look like …
I have to admit they’re not like the pattern any more. I tend to exaggerate things a little.
Now, if you’re related, and don’t have a set of these, and fear that I might pay you a visit, put in your request. If you aren’t related, and want a set, they are $85. You, too, can put in your request.
Just kidding … I’ve never made a dime on these things and don’t intend to start now. If I did, it would be like … well, like work. I do it for fun. If you don’t have a set, and just have to have one, contact my agent. She’ll put you on the list. After that, it’s all about patience on your part.
Diane left me alone tonight. She went with Jennifer and Lydia to an ornament exchange. It’s that time of year.
Now I need to find something to watch on TV to keep my mind off power tools until she gets home.