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Gloria and her Crochet

“This is Midget,” Gloria said, introducing me to the crocheted giraffe. “Isn’t it the stupidest looking giraffe you’ve ever seen?”

I can honestly say I have never been properly introduced to a giraffe before. But I didn’t think it was at all stupid. It was obvious that Midget, along with her other crocheted animal friends, were created with love. (Though, I guess if you think about it, love can appear stupid, sometimes.) Nevertheless, isn’t love behind all handmade things?

I know nothing about crocheting. I can’t even thread a needle. Truth be told, I have rocked my share of pants “hemmed” with duct tape. So this crocheting business…I know there is yarn involved. And patience. Yarn and patience. But beyond that, I am pretty clueless. I am guilty of using crocheting and knitting interchangeably in conversation. (Apparently calling someone who crochets a knitter and vice versa is a sore spot for some …good to know that ahead of time, considering they are both armed with long hooked needles.) Come to find out, just like different golf clubs are used for specific shots, there are various sized crochet hooks for different projects. So I guess one could say that crocheting is the golf of the yarn world. Instead of nine irons and putters, crocheters depend on hook size, like C-2 or J-10.

No, I really don’t know anything about golf, either.

Our client Gloria, an avid crocheter, was born in Bangor, Maine. Just like the world-famous author Stephen King. “Crocheting keeps my brain working,” she said. “That, and reading.” And although she loves to read, Gloria is more into medieval historical fiction than horror or suspense. In fact, since 2012 she has read at least 1500 books.

It was Gloria’s grandmother who tried to teach her to crochet when she was young, but she didn’t really pick it up until her children were all grown up. “I needed something to pass the time.”

About a year and a half ago, Gloria was getting buried in her projects, specifically beanies. “I didn’t know what to do with the darn things. There were hats everywhere!” So, after untangling herself from the web of yarn she weaved, Gloria reached out to numerous hospitals to donate her crocheted hats to the newborn babies in their facility. Christ Hospital graciously accepted Gloria’s offer.

“They asked for me to crochet red ones to represent the American Heart Association,” Gloria said. So she replenished her yarn supply and began cranking out red hats.

After she had filled boxes and boxes of red hats, Gloria eventually branched out and started using other colors and patterns. “The red…it started driving me crazy!”

In between reading the latest medieval historical fiction novel and playing around on her computer, Gloria putters around her home, working on this and working on that. There are some days arthritis in her right hand slows her down, but she doesn’t let it stop her. “I don’t like starting anything I can’t finish.” Her current project is a colorful afghan that hangs incomplete on the back of her couch.

Some of us are a little like Midget. Awkward, perhaps, though undoubtedly loved. Others of us are more like Gloria’s afghan in the works. Incomplete, but beautiful just the same. And we can all learn from Gloria that in spite of anything that may get in our way, arthritis or otherwise, we push through the pain. Because regardless of whether we are knitters or crocheters; golfers or giraffes, we are all doing the very best we can in this life, day by day, stitch by stitch.


Thank you for joining us for the fourth installment of our new venture, In the Loop with LifeSpan. LifeSpan strives to highlight our commonalities while celebrating our differences throughout our community, and we trust that this blog will be an extension of that mission.

Regardless of whether you feel in the loop or perhaps out of it like our name suggests, LifeSpan strives to meet you where you are at, serving people at all points in the span of life.