Tip of the Hat

Feb 19, 2014

Well, so I spent my morning off at the dentist. Always a pleasure. As I was meandering through the lobby, wondering when I'd be able to feel my face again, I could sense yarn being manipulated nearby (does that happen to you? weird, huh?). I looked up and saw a man crocheting. And then I saw his dog. And, of course, I went over to chat (as best I could, what with half a working mouth).

That is how I met Allen and his companion, Meadow:

Doesn't Meadow look proud? And no wonder. In Allen's hand is Hat No. 28 of this year. Yes, this year. By my quick ciphering, that's a hat about every other day.

Allen makes afghans as well. The hats are better for crocheting in a lobby whilst waiting for a ride home.

He gives them all away. He rattled off a whole list of organizations that receive his hats, then said: "I don't need to know who I'm helping. Somebody will have a warm hat. That's good enough for me."

Allen learned to crochet in second grade at the Governor Morehead School for the Blind in Raleigh, NC. Then he forgot how to do it. He relearned in 1997 or so. He made afghans to take to the orphanage in Russia where he and his wife went to adopt their daughter.

He said people have told him he should sell his afghans—ripples or squares are his preferred patterns—but he said "I don't know how to sell them. I just like knowing I have helped somebody."

A lot of his yarn comes from Walmart, he says. Friends also donate their leftovers. He was gifted black, white, and red yarn one time. He put the yarns in labeled bags and fretted about how to make them look good together. Then he found out that they are the colors for the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Carolina Hurricanes, and he figured fans of those teams would like whatever turned out. He especially likes variegated yarns, he says, because he's been told that they make a very pretty pattern.

Somebody told him the hat he is working on is brown.

Perfect for any cold head, I'd say.

Betty came to pick up Allen or else we might still be there in the lobby. I feel like there's a lot more I could learn from Allen. I'm glad we met.

Gotta go—working on a Chain Reaction Afghan. The sooner I finish, the sooner I can give it away.

Happy crocheting,

Marcy

P.S. Looking for crochet projects to give away? Download our Free eBooks, How to Crochet a Beanie: 5 Free Crochet Beanie Patterns or Craftivism & Crocheting for Charity: 6 Free Patterns to Crochet for Charity or 8 Free Crochet Hat Patterns: Crochet Hats with CrochetMe.

 


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Comments

on Feb 19, 2014 2:53 PM

This is so fabulous - Allen and Meadow are such a wonderful pair!

mgrant7209 wrote
on Feb 22, 2014 7:22 PM

I have a question. I have been crocheting for over 50 years, mostly thread work, or non-clothing yarn projects. I always worked very close to the hook, thus my stitches weren’t always the same size, my crocheted “fabric” was stiff, and clothes didn’t always look right or fit correctly. I finally figured out how to use the barrel of the hook to maintain consistent loop size. I now push all loops or yarn-overs onto the barrel of the hook and hold them there with my right thumb. Then, yarn-over, and hold that on the barrel between my left thumb and index finger. Yarn-over and complete the stitch. I have loops of consistent size, flexible “fabric,” and the correct size project.  Is this news to anyone, or have I been the only one doing it wrong for decades?

mgrant7209 wrote
on Feb 22, 2014 7:23 PM

I have a question. I have been crocheting for over 50 years, mostly thread work, or non-clothing yarn projects. I always worked very close to the hook, thus my stitches weren’t always the same size, my crocheted “fabric” was stiff, and clothes didn’t always look right or fit correctly. I finally figured out how to use the barrel of the hook to maintain consistent loop size. I now push all loops or yarn-overs onto the barrel of the hook and hold them there with my right thumb. Then, yarn-over, and hold that on the barrel between my left thumb and index finger. Yarn-over and complete the stitch. I have loops of consistent size, flexible “fabric,” and the correct size project.  Is this news to anyone, or have I been the only one doing it wrong for decades?

on Mar 3, 2014 9:37 AM

I have tried crocheting with my eyes closed in case I ever lose my vision....its' REALLY hard to do.  I guess if one hasn't ever seen it would be different.  Still, I am very impressed with his industrious ways and generous spirit.