Auntie Squares

comments: 90

Auntiesquare3Lately, my niece and I have been reading together on Wednesdays. We get our OJs from the fridge and clamber into the big bed with our book. Yesterday it was Misty of Chincoteague. You can imagine I am quite an enthusiastic dramatic reader (and it's quite an exciting book!). Nevertheless, my listener could not sit still. She was on top of the covers. Then reaching for her juice. Then under the ripple blanket. Then on top of the ripple blanket. Then under the duvet. Then out from under all of it and flat on her stomach, as I was. Then back to the juice. At the end of Chapter 3 she said, "Let's just read until the beginning of Chapter 4." I said, "Okay. What do you want to do now?"
     "I think I want to learn how to make a granny square."
     Thwap! [book slammed shut by Aunt Alicia]

She went to pick out her yarn and came back with Rowan Cashsoft Baby DK, which is a beautiful yarn (and I do believe in starting kids with yarns of their preference, even cashmerino, because anything that can help add to a positive experience when learning something new is good). I had my D hook on the nightstand, and, though it was smaller than anything she's used before, she was game. That's what I love about this girl: She's totally game. She already knew how to chain and make single crochets, having learned it at school (where they are allowed to crochet while the teacher is reading — oh joy!). But I showed her how to make the "blobs and holes" of the granny square and she was off. (We have such technical terms: "Put the hook in the top of the first stick of that blob and then wrap it." "That blob?" "No, the one next to the hole." "Oh, that blob." I cringe thinking about how they must prefer to explain these at school.)

Anyway, well, she's a genius, of course, and picked it all up right away, and made a tiny turquoise square of her own. She even managed to employ a rather sophisticated sense of crocheting humor as she neglected to wrap the yarn around the hook almost every time she wanted to make a dc, which would routinely send us into howls of laughter and mock-despair. I said, "You keep forgetting to remember to wrap before you pull up the loop." "No," she said, "actually, I'm remembering to forget." More stitches, more forgetting (remembering), more howling and laughter and bed-bouncing. I said, "Do you hear that little voice in your head, telling you to wrap?" "Yes," she said, "it's whispering but it needs to be yelling!" Giggle giggle. Love. This. Girl.



tricias treasures says: March 15, 2007 at 08:40 AM

How awesome for both of you to have such a great relationship. As always the ever present pony in the background.....

Oh, I can't wait till my granddaughters are old enough to teach toc corchet. It's a good thing you're doing there, Alicia!

Ulp. Sorry, but I didn't proof very well before I posted, did I? Yipes.

OMG !!! The day before yesterday, a memory surfaced for me, of a book my Gramma gave me when I was 7. It was Misty of Chincoteague! What a weird coincidence that you mention it! Coolness.

I got to teach one of my students how to crochet last year. It was so heartwarming to see her finished scarf :)

Aww sounds like fun.

That's neat! You're going to be (and already are) a very important influential person in your niece's life. I never had a daughter, but I've really enjoyed my many nieces. Reading aloud is lovely.

Great book, sweet girl, best aunt, lovely fun.

My 2 favourite things, reading aloud to children and crocheting on the bed! A lovely post..

My mom always says that everyone needs someone in their life who adores them and it sounds like your niece has that in you. Lucky girl.

You are the most wonderful aunt! Misty, crocheting, giggling....what a wonderful afternoon.

well, that's about the sweetest thing i've heard in ages. under ::or:: over the covers, crocheting and reading with oj and a heavenly auntie sounds like the best place in the world to be.

That is so wonderful- I love this post!
I live too far from my dear aunt to learn to crochet from her, so I'm learning alone- to learn with your aunt would be so much more fun!

Your story made me giggle and was a nice break from doing my taxes! I love that book, by the way. Every year when I was younger we used to camp at Assateague(near chincoteague, where they swim the horses to and from) for a week. I was even almost trampled by one of those wild horses!

i totally agree with your opinion on materials! i used to hate some of the projects we did in school because the fabrics and wool were so awful...
i'm confused about dc now... (i'm only 'relearning' how to crochet) i thought it was the one with the wrap then i got into trouble trying to figure out the ripple pattern, inspired by your gorgeous blanket (i was skipping a stitch for decreasing instead of properly doing the two together thing). when i looked up decreasing on the internet i got the impression dc is the stitch where you don't wrap? which one's which?

How fun! I have taught all three of my stepdaughters to crochet (and sent them to their mothers with my hooks and yarn), one to knit, and another to cross-stitch, and not one of them has cared to keep at it. (I swear, they asked me to teach them - I didn't force them to learn!)

I can't wait until my niece says that to me!!!! I just get them making a mess out of my yarn...but they were playing with YARN....I posted about it in January

Oh, what a joyous blog! I love the stories you share of your niece. She's a gem. You're a gem!

oh, that looks and sounds like a blast! i don't think it would be possible for her to have a more enthusiastic teacher, even if you use the term "blob" in your instruction. so cute!

i think you are both blessed to have each other!

Oh how I wish I had had an auntie like you. Now if I can only learn how to crochet a granny square so I can teach my nieces. How lucky you are to have each other!

jeanne-marie says: March 15, 2007 at 10:39 AM

I LOVED Misty of Chincoteague! And Sea Star, and every other one of those Marguerite books. I still have them. Even the ones about the boy horses. :-)

What beautiful, cherished memories your niece will have to reflect back on! girls have asked me to show them and I really need to spend time doing that with them. Thanks for the inspiration:)

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.