I’d like to introduce Amy (Acrylic Mystery Yarn).

introducing amy

I’d like to introduce you to Amy.

Amy = Acrylic Mystery Yarn

Many years ago, my grandmother discovered plastic canvas needlepoint.

Well, perhaps discovered is too strong of a word.

When I was a child, my grandmother was a devoted seamstress.  She created amazing outfits for her grandchildren.  She quilted.  She did needlework.  She even made my prom dress.

As I grew older, so did she.  

She transitioned from sewing to  lap work projects.  It started as a blend of fine needlework and crochet with a bit of lap quilting on the side.  She made baby blankets for great grand children as yet unthought of.  She made Christmas ornaments.  She made afghans.

When she no longer could do one craft, she found a replacement.  She loved crafting.  She also firmly believed that keeping busy was good for you.

I admire how she continued to find a way to create beautiful (or at least decorative or somewhat useful) items even as her eyesight dimmed and her hands began to fail.  When she could no longer do handwork on needlepoint canvas, she somehow discovered the plastic canvas stuff.

She made plastic nativity sets.

Her labor of love in plastic crochet was creating nativity sets for her great grand children.

Each figure required three or four different colors of yarn (hair, clothes, and trim).  Even making multiples, she never used more than about a fourth of a skein of most yarn colors.

When she died, I inherited all those partial skeins.  Each had been meticulously wound into a ball.  But, there were no labels.   It’s just a huge box of mystery yarn.  All in acrylic worsted weight.  Plastic yarn for plastic canvas.  How logical.

I picked up a soft blue ball of Acrylic Mystery Yarn  the other day.

I hefted it, trying to estimate just how much yarn I had.  The ball was pretty big, so I figured I had enough for a hat.  I did.  But partway through the hat, I remembered how my grandmother had used the yarn.  It was what she used to make Mary’s robe.

I suddenly wondered if that made the whole ball of yarn “holy yarn” that should be set aside for a noble purpose.

plastic canvas nativityAs I worked on the hat, I had a quick detour into the world of self pity.  My plastic yarn nativity set was in storage, not out where the kids could play with it.  At the time, it was almost Christmas.  And we were still in the hotel instead at home where we belonged.  (Have I mentioned my remodel?  I swear I’m not bitter.)  Thankfully, it was only a brief detour.

I started thinking about my Grandmother.

She tried to teach me to crochet when I was young, but at the time it didn’t stick.  She did teach me needlework.  I remembered how she would flip my early work over and inspect the back, instead of looking at the front.

According to her, the back should look as pretty as the front, with no loose ends or long sprints of carried thread.

She helped me develop the habit of working my ends in as quickly as possible, rather than leaving them to the end.  I’m thankful for that.

I vowed to work down AMY. That yarn deserved to be used.

My grandmother would never have wanted that yarn to sit in a box, gathering dust.  She would have laughed at my notion of “holy yarn” just because part of the skein had been used to create Mary’s dress or a creche for Baby Jesus.  She would have told me to keep using that yarn to keep my hands busy, and to pick something hard so I wouldn’t have time to have a pity party.

As I finished the hat, I decided it should be given away.  Not sold.  Not given as a birthday gift.  Just given away to a stranger in need.   It just feels like the right thing to do.

But if you spot a project on Ravelry where the yarn type is listed as AMY, it probably means Acrylic Mystery Yarn.  And it probably means the yarn came from my grandmother’s stash.

What memories of your grandmother’s crafting do you have?  I’d love to hear your story.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://thishappymom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/DSC_0036.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Houston Mom Blogger Susan Baker has a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood. She has two elementary school boys, one engineering husband, and one cat. She has a strange fascination  for eggs, socks, and books.  She spends far too much time on Social Media and at Target. She is crazy in love with her family.  She serves an amazing God.   She lives an ordinary life filled with wonder. [/author_info] [/author]

Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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  1. You know I’ve gotta read if my name is in the title. What a great post. This reminds me so much of my granny and her embroidery. I remember her ironing on the transfer pattern and going to town with the floss. The back either looked like a near perfect mirror image or nearly blank because of how she had just caught a thread of the fabric. She didn’t do other crafts, but the embroidery and her “locker” style handwriting were art. Thanks for introducing me to a new “me” today by showing me where part of my crafty love comes from.
    Amy Tilson recently posted..Down the Rabbit Hole: Chasing Down IdolsMy Profile

    • My great aunt did that with stamped cross stitch. Amazing to watch.

      I think crafting is a part of how we women connect to each other and to past generations. It’s a strong bond.

  2. I never knew my grandmothers, but I had a great aunt whose sewing box I inherited. It was full of embroidery thread and buttons– I decorated many a cut-off blue jean and blouses! I always thought I should open a craft store called “Aunt Biddy’s Box” in memory of that great lady.
    Your story brought back some happy memories– thanks!
    Melinda Stanton recently posted..Conflict in Marriage– the Biblical WayMy Profile

  3. What a wonderful memory of your Aunt. I love how crafts can be the connecting thread between generations.
    susan recently posted..I’d like to introduce Amy (Acrylic Mystery Yarn).My Profile

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