Betty's Crochet World

( 436 items as of 5/28/2016. )

Toys, purses & things

Laddie's Toys

Doilies

Afghans & Blankets

Scarves, hats & more scarves

Caplets & Ponchos

All About Me

My Auntie Rika taught me how to crochet when I was a young girl. Auntie Rika, or Rae as she was known to the rest of the world, was a fun loving Italian women with many interest who opened up many doors for me. She arranged for me to take my first plane ride to Catalina when I was 16 years old. The plane landed on the top of the mountain and I took the bus down to Avalon to meet her. She made it possible for me to take my first train ride to meet her in Palm Springs. She had a passion for bowling and I learned how to bowl, drink and gamble. She taught me how to drink martinis out of a coffee cup at lunch and still make it back to work.

In addition to the above she loved to crochet and when I expressed an interest she did agree to teach me. She was not the most patient teacher but we struggled along and I was able to learn to single and double crochet. I was able to make scarves and afghans that all looked the same except for the color of the yarn. After a while I lost interest and did not go back to crocheting until many years later when I moved away from Southern California to San Francisco. I was then in my 30’s, had never been away from my Italian family and I was looking for things to do to occupy my time. I took a sewing class and soon found that was not for me. I would go out to discover the City and one day while wandering down Van Ness Blvd I happened to spot a yarn shop and when I looked in I saw all this beautiful yarn. When I went inside I saw a little gray haired lady at a table with several women around it doing different projects. I saw her hop from one person to another, look at the project they were working on and give them advice and instruction. Sometimes not too patiently like my Aunt Rika. I asked the owner of the shop how you arranged for instructions and she said if you bought the yarn and a pattern you were able to come in for instructions. I found out that the little gray haired lady was Mrs. Minkler and she could knit, crochet, needlepoint, embroidery…you name it she could do it all.

I bought some yarn and an afghan pattern book (that I still have) and was soon one of the women waiting outside the yarn shop in line to get instructions from Mrs. Minkler. I had looked at the book and decided on an afghan but when I read the instructions it made no sense and I was not sure I really wanted to do this. I sat at the table with my crochet hook and yarn and when it was my turn I expressed my concern to her, With that she looked at me, raised her eyebrow and with those piercing blue eyes staring at me said …”if you don’t want to learn how to read a pattern you are wasting your time and mine because you’ll never be able to make anything really interesting, fun and creative.” I thought about it and told her I did want to learn and that was the beginning. I would go in with my projects and she could spot a mistake a mile away and would look at me and say, “rip, rip, rip” back to the mistake and start over. To this day if I see a mistake I am never satisfied until I “rip, rip, rip” back to the mistake. Sometimes I would go in with my project and after looking at it she would point to a row on the project and say “you must have been drinking wine at this point because your tension is different…rip, rip, rip”. I continued learning and having fun making each project until I went back to work at a job I really enjoyed and did not have time to crochet.

After being in San Francisco for 10 years I moved to Lake County in 1982. I really did not return to crocheting until about 10 years ago when I saw a designer scarf in a women’s magazine that was selling for $250. I looked at the pattern and said, “I can do that.” I showed the scarf to my nieces and asked if they would like me to make them a free scarf that looked like the one in the magazine. Of course they thought that was wonderful. As you can see from the web site I was off and running. John just told me that there are close to 200 projects here and we are still adding. It is too bad I don’t have pictures of the projects that I first made but I didn’t know then that 45 years later my husband would decide to design a web page to display them.

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