Once upon a time there was a beautiful skein of blue-green cobweb weight yarn. It was cunningly made from cashmere and silk, and was as cool and beautiful to the touch as it was to the eye:
It had come to live with a Keen Knitter, who stroked it lovingly and told it that she would make it into something wonderful, as it deserved.
First it had to be wound into a ball. This was not an easy matter: the silk fibres were very shy and nervous, and clung together until the whole skein was one tangled mess. Luckily the Keen Knitter had a friend who loved to turn worried skeins into smooth balls of yarn, and she worked at it gently over many hours until every last knot was undone, and the yarn was in balls and ready to be knitted.
The Keen Knitter wanted to choose a pattern that would suit the beautiful blue-green yarn, the colour of summer waves, so she found one which reminded her of the sea. She cast on, and concentrated very hard, but she made so many mistakes that she undid her work and sat, disheartened. She had never knitted with anything so fine and delicate before.
She wondered if that was the biggest problem. She hunted down a simple pattern that would allow her to get used to the fine strands before she tried to do anything clever with them, and this worked very well. As soon as she felt confident, she started to look for a more complex pattern.
As luck would have it, another kind friend of the Keen Knitter sent her a lovely pattern which she thought might be just right. It was designed to look like the leaves on the trees outside her window. It took a lot of concentration, and she worked very slowly, but at last she had done three complete repeats of the pattern.
But then disaster struck. Just as she put her needle into a stitch, the stitch snapped. A whole row of work unravelled before her eyes. She could have wept. All that effort, all that concentration - she was just not cut out for knitting with something this fine. She put the balls of yarn away, and picked up a sock instead....
Two days later, picking up a dropped stitch with a fine crochet hook, inspiration struck. Perhaps she could crochet with the blue-green yarn? It was far too beautiful just to sit at the bottom of her work bag. She pulled some yarn out and began to doodle with it.
It seemed to like the crochet hook. It seemed much more relaxed and the stitches were more even. She doodled and scrumbled until she had made a beautiful ruffled flower. Then she found a lovely pearl button for its centre, just as a nod to the sea-colour of the yarn. It was pretty, and soft, and it had worked.
So the Keen Knitter, who was also a Clever Crocheter, found another pattern for a shawl. This one was made with a crochet hook - and this one, she hoped, would get finished.
(As soon as I get Richard to take its photograph, the flower - and its pattern - will be appearing here!)