Saturday, February 04, 2012

The Crochet Hook Caper

I have a favorite crochet hook.  It is a size 9 that was among the ones in Ed's grandmother's sewing basket that was given to me when she passed.  The hooks and thread in that basket started my crochet obsession three years ago.   I love this particular hook (the one on lower edge of pictures) because it is the only one that has a dip about half an inch behind the hook which serves to keep the loops from sliding off before you want them to which is especially handy for stitches that require keeping multiple loops on.

I have misplaced this hook so many times I lost count long ago and each time have spent inordinate amounts of time looking for it.  Usually I had lost it in the bed in the room at my in-laws where we lived until a month ago.  Sometimes it was elsewhere in that room.  Often I would find it on the floor after I'd shifted all my crafts and books up onto the bed.  Once it was in the car.  Once I found it in the bottom of Grandma's sewing basket which I'd had to completely empty twice before my fingers discovered it hiding in the side seam.

I always found it within 48 hours and usually before I slept next.  Except this last time.

Three weeks ago, late in the second week of my visit here at Mom's, it came up missing and I spent a good eight hours that first day looking for it everywhere I could think beginning on my side of the bed in Mom's room where my craft and computer workstation is set up.  My sister even called The Electric Bean Cafe where we'd gone the previous Friday night and I'd had my crochet with me.  But it wasn't in their lost and found and it wasn't in the car and it wasn't in the bedding and it wasn't in any of the pockets of the clothes and aprons I'd been wearing and it wasn't in any of the project kits I had unpacked and repacked three to five times each.

I tried to enlarge this with the 9 and 10 side by side to show the difference but the dip doesn't show up very well.  It helps if you open the picture in its own window and use zoom.

Over the week I must have given well over fifteen hours to the search for that hook.  It seemed like every time I picked up my crochet I would think of a place to look and even if I didn't I would be thinking about the hook and missing it and feeling sad.  I think that is why crocheting tapered off to nearly zero.  There were four or five projects in progress that I'd begun using that size 9 hook on and I'd had to substitute a size 10 for them.  The next sized hook I have going up is size 7 as I'd lost my size 8 somewhere between the car and the Doctor's waiting room last spring and hadn't replaced it yet.

This particular one though I can't find anywhere except online and the one time I found them there they were in a spendy full kit with sizes 00 to 12 or 14.

Bradley, my nephew's cat, kept walking into the shots as I tried to get pictures of the hook.
This evening Mom and I were playing Scrabble and we have a very laid back attitude about rules since we don't keep score and aren't playing to compete but to exercise Mom's vocabulary and her mental word-finding skills.  Once a very articulate woman Mom has been frustrated by the aphasia brought on by the stroke she suffered during the surgery on her broken hip three years ago.  So we don't add to her sense of anxiety about it with time limits or keeping score and she is free to peruse the Scrabble dictionary for ideas.  Thus I like to have a book or crochet with me for while I wait my turn after I have figured out my next play.

This time I'd brought out the flower and bow project for her sweater.  Although I'd given her a portion of them at her birthday bash on January 8th  I still needed to make two flowers and one bow in the sets already begun and have planned to make a third set of flowers a third again to twice as big as the first.  This was one of the projects I'd used the size 9 hook on so when I dug it out I dropped a size 10 hook into the baggie with the green bamboo thread and the beginnings of the green flower I'd begun at Mom's party.  This made a mini project that fit in my apron pocket.

While Mom was working on her first word I reached into the baggie in my apron pocket to pull out the hook and it got stuck in the thread which was mystifying because I was sure I'd dropped it in handle down.  When it finally broke free I brought it up toward the nascent green flower in my left hand to put the hook into the working loop and lo and behold the hook had a dip.

My jaw did a little dip of its own.  I had such a shocked expression it alarmed Mom.

My missing hook was found.  It felt quite surreal.  As if I'd put my hand into a wishing well and pulled out the thing I wished for.

Apparently the hook had been inside the tube of thread which had been inside a ziplock baggie inside the transparent kit bag.  So I may have not unpacked that kit thinking I was able to see everything there was to see without opening it.  I also may have not bothered because I knew I'd not had that project out since Mom's party a good week before I missed the hook and had been sure that day that I had it the day of our visit to the cafe.

I have a feeling I'm going to be crocheting more again now.  Maybe I'll finish some of the small projects begun with the size 9 out of gratitude.  There's the flowers and bows for Mom's sweater, two bookmarks but one of those was meant to be a set of three, a small pocket book or checkbook cover, several roses, my rainbow bag.  That last is not a small project but some of the tasks left to do are smallish.  And I hated to go to size 10 with that one as I had begun it with the size 8 and had to switch to the size 9 after loosing the 8.

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