It began with a square pillow with tassels in seventh grade Home Economics (that earned a “B”). In college, there was a 5″x5″ needlepoint lion. Then there was a learn-to-knit vest kit offer in a magazine. Sewing, knitting, and needlecraft have been a part of Patty’s life since that “B” pillow. Freedom from the 40-hour work week and the discovery of the crafts section of the local bookstores spawned a new enthusiasm and discovery of new crafts.
Knitting has predominated with completed projects ranging from scarves to vests to sweaters to dresses. Sewing is still a first love, with a growing fabric stash to prove it. A large collection of fabric with dogs has inspired many a shirt for Tom. Add to that other handcrafts like silk ribbon embroidery, beadwork, wirework, and polymer clay and the sewing room is bursting.
So much yarn and fabric, so little time.
She makes dozens of sweaters, shirts, coats, vests, etc. almost every year that become cherished gifts for family and friends’ birthdays and at Christmas. She once made pajamas for the entire Cronin household (our neighbors) that they wore practically every night for over three years before they just plain wore them into rags. They assure me that each item got washed regularly enough, just in case you were wondering.
Patty has the ability to pick up on new craft/needlework/sewing “things” in about the same amount of time it takes the average person to blink. My mother spent about a half hour back in 1982 showing Patty a few basic knitting skills. Patty started churning out sweaters the next week. She has made me dozen of shirts, enough pants and shorts to last a month without wearing the same pair twice, numerous colorful cumberbunds and bow ties for my tuxedo, and lots of other items that most people refuse to believe are hand made.
The general conversation goes something like this:
Other Person — “Wow. Nice shirt. Where did you buy it?”
Me — “My wife made it.”
Other Person — “No…really! That’s not hand made. Where did you get it?”
Me — “Patty made it. Honest. See… (pulling my collar around my neck so they can see). No label.”
Other Person — “Anyone can cut the label out of a shirt. Where did you get it?”
Me — “Walmart!”
Other Person — “No, that’s too nice for Walmart…”