Human Angels and struggle songs by Rachelle

I have been wanting to write about my friend Hester, my human angel, for a long time, but due to the sensitivity of the “project,” and my hand on the heart promise, I have not been able to tell anyone about the one thing that saved my sanity during the last couple of weeks.
Hester from MoYa yarns and I have been friends on Facebook for yonks and after Johan’s passing, Hester consoled me (and my crochet craziness) with a beautiful bag of MoYa-nificence.
I enquired about a project. Such gorgeousness comes with its fair share “what are you going to be’s” and “what would you like to be’s?” In the crochet community, these are very legitimate questions. Yarn speaks its own language and we must just listen and do.
Asking the right questions gained me entrance into a world of joy, pain, frogging, counting and more counting. Nights of “just one more row,” and weekends of “sorry I can’t make it!”
I started testing the magnificent Kaleidoscope.
Now, I have never tested before. I have done quick checks for some designers, I have tested small stuff for friends, but this kind of testing … never.
Testing comes with patience, questions, more questions and wine. Lots of wine. You count, count again, make notes and count again. (The more wine you drink, the more you count)
I made Hester quite mad!! She handled me with such patience, grace and very often a shake of the head and an eye roll – of that I am sure, but…

I gained joy.
Time to think.
Time not to think.

Time to spend with myself and a craft I not only enjoy, but a passion I relish. Alone time which I so needed. Time to talk to Johan, ask him what he thought


The colours I used were his colours, so the joy was doubled, even tripled. Each time I unfolded the work in progress my heart healed a little because I knew Johan would have loved it and my joy in doing it.

I cursed and laughed and cried – there was frustration, but ultimately, joy! I did it. I really did it. I won at the one thing that still makes me happy and gives me pleasure.

There it is … there is still joy, pleasure and laughter. He took so much with him, but this one human angel gave some of it back to me. She gave me the space to create something beautiful, to find the joy in crochet again and so find healing. She saved that little piece of me that could have gotten lost so easily in the pain and the agony of the greater loss.

The struggle songs part of this is actually more of a joyful noise, now that I think about it.
During the long hours of counting, frogging and re-doing, the music reminded me so much of him. I know why people sing struggle songs now.

It is not the struggle at all – it’s the memories of the feelings they evoke. It’s the “where we were” and “what we did” and “how we felt” feelings that we attribute to those songs that makes them special.

My struggle songs were there to remind me of the times we met, we wed, we loved, we cried and we raised our children. They turned out to be happy memory songs – each stitch in that beautiful Kaleidoscope blanket also were accompanied by the happy memories of my struggle songs. I did it, I finished a gorgeous blanket and I buried some of the struggle songs in happy memories.

I have slayed quite a few dragons here. Big ones, like empty nights full of nothing to do. Those can really get to you. Small ones like favourite music that could have ambushed me later, but crochet killed the lot.

Thank you Hester for the opportunity to test your beautiful pattern…and heal. I have told you many, many times how much you meant to me during those early weeks. Thanks again for your compassion, your love and your patience. You are so special.

Lady Lance-a-hook

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