The Crochet Café

Yup it’s been almost an entire year since I last wrote, but what I have to write today has substance.

So I started knitting when I was in the 5th grade, which was in 2006, and when I went into 6th grade I was walking in Old Town Temecula with a family friend when we came across a little shop in this court yard, tucked away from Front Street, where the traffic and noise was. It was the Crochet Cafe.

This place was like none other, I had never been to a yarn shop ever, and didn’t know that there was one in my home town, and I was excited. When I walked in that day I was greeted by a woman sitting in the center of her shop around a coffee table, her name was Debra, she was the owner. I only had a minute to look before I had to leave, but in that minute I was invited to come a knit or crochet with her and some other gals on Tuesday nights in her shop. So the next week I went.

That following week I went to my first Knit Night and met people that would change my life. First, Debra introduced to me a woman who spoke little english, but was an amazing knitter, her name was Nora. Nora spoke Spanish which made talking to her easier for me. I took out my needles and began knitting. I remember that I was working on a scarf, and it was just me practicing a slew of different stitches and I was on a purl when Nora asked me for my needles and showed me something that changed the way I knit. She pulled out the entire row that I had been working on, and she told me that I was purling wrong, and she showed me how I was purling and how I should be, and that’s when I realized that I had been purling wrong all this time.

It was that night that I began to bond with these incredible women, who would share their stories of adventure, love, and life. We all loved Tuesday nights at the Crochet Cafe, and I held those nights dearly. Sadly, Debra was diagnosed with cancer and just as quickly as she had came into my life and changed it, she was leaving it. After she passed, nothing was the same. Her family friends tried to keep the shop afloat amidst their busy lives, but couldn’t put in the effort that Debra did and so the shop went out of business a few months later.

And although Debra and the shop are no longer here, I am still thankful everyday that I was given the opportunity to meet Debra and that she introduced me into the world of knitting, for whom without, I wouldn’t have known such amazing women or experienced great things.

The reason why I’m sharing this is because recently I came across something that has been hibernating for years. I started this afghan in either 2007 or 2008, I can’t recall seeing that a huge gap in time has occurred, and dates become blurred. Anyways, in those years I bought 6 skeins of Lion Brand Homespun from The Crochet Cafe, and began to knit an afghan from the Done by Monday Afghans book by Plymouth Yarns. I was about halfway done with it when I decided that I didn’t want to finish it. I thought that I could do more with the yarn that I bought, so I started ripping out what I had knit, and I ripped out about a skien of yarn, but never finished. This past week while I was going through my closet, in preparation for packing to go back to school I came across the bin that has housed this project for the 6+ years I haven’t worked on it. I thought that it would be a good thing I finished the afghan.

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It serves to remind me of where I started, where I am, and where I wish to be. A tribute to Debra who remembered my birthday, even though I had told her only once in passing, and who brought me a cinnamon roll with a birthday candle in it the night of my birthday at the shop. I think about her, and I smile, because I get to live for her now. She lives on through me and through the afghan I am knitting, a piece of her that is timeless.

Do not stand at my grave and weep;

I am not there. I do not sleep.

I am thousand winds that blow.

I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush

I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry;

I am not there. I did not die.

–Mary Elizabeth Frye

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