Susan learned the rudimentary basics of crochet from a former co-worker at Fidelity Investments, her first stockbroker job. She made herself a multicolored scarf and wore it a lot before she made other things.
I remember one day, a few months after I met her, when she told me she was learning to crochet and was having problems with it. I helped her with her project and that was the start of hundreds of hours of crocheting fun for us—talking, laughing, and watching movies together as we crocheted.
She loved to crochet and spent many, many hours making baby blankets for friends, fellow church members, or co-workers. When she was invited to baby showers she liked to take handmade gifts to show her love and friendship. She invented her own patterns for hats and made one for each of her boys.
When she disappeared, she was working on a blanket for Braden, her youngest son. It was yellow and orange and she was making it quite big so he could have it for many years. One of the yarns for this blanket tangled easily and that’s why Susan invited her friend JoVonna over to her house the afternoon of Sunday, December 6, 2009. She knew JoVonna was an expert yarn de-tangler and she wanted JoVonna’s help with the knotted yarn so Susan could continue making Braden’s blanket.
JoVonna was the last person (besides Josh) to see Susan.
One thing Susan made several years ago was a long stuffed toy snake. She had been instrumental in helping me figure out how to make the same snake years before, when I was new to following crochet patterns and had never made anything round before. (She hadn’t, either, but we both read the pattern and somehow figured it out together.)
It appears the pattern we used for our snakes is no longer on the web, but here are many similar crocheted snake patterns.
The now-defunct pattern featured this picture:
From the currently non-working Yarncat.com
Susan’s snake looked quite similar to that, but I can’t remember the exact colorway of yarn she used.
Here is an excerpt from an e-mail Susan sent me about finishing this snake:
Thursday, December 15, 2005 9:00 AM
“Finished the snake and even added my own version of a tail, I chained 2 and went back over it, it was my dad’s idea. Charlie loved playing with it and pulling the tongue. I’m contemplating making one for him but adding some type of bendy thing as I stuff it so that it will keep a shape. What do you think?”
I made this scarf as a birthday gift for Susan a couple of years ago. She wore it all winter long. I didn’t even know at the time that I’d chosen her favorite colors, either.
I didn’t see this scarf when I was packing up Susan’s clothes when Josh took everything and moved to Washington. If I had, I would’ve asked Josh if I could have it. I can picture Susan so easily with her sweet smile and her scarf around her neck.