Monday, January 21, 2013


Although I spent several years in high school and college studying French, I afraid I've lost most of what I learned.  And that is somewhat sad considering that, at the peak of my skills, I had the vocabulary of a precocious and yet largely illiterate 5 year old French child.  L'enfant terrible indeed.

But if I'm fair to myself, I've really only had two occasions, outside of the classroom, to use my French.  One one occasion, in Disney World of all places, I was asked by a French couple for directions to the toilet.  At least I hope that's what they asked, because that's where I sent them.  It is entirely possible I misunderstood, and that those particular tourists left the Magic Kingdom with a very confused understanding of Mister Toad's Wild Ride.

My second opportunity came when I myself was a tourist - visiting Montreal.  In a grocery store I was asked whether I preferred paper or plastic bags for my purchases.  I'm pleased to say that I nailed the answer.

So it was with some trepidation that I weighed learning to crochet.  It sounds, after all, quite French.  Just the attitude with which one must pronounce the word gives it away. 

But recently, I was asked to make an alligator.  This would be project 3 of 4 for my firm's auction for a local food bank.  And try as I might, I really couldn't come up with a good knitting pattern for an alligator.  In fact, I expanded my search to look for patterns for cayman, crocodiles and ill-tempered iguanas with glandular disorders.  But no luck.  The only pattern I found that I liked was for crochet.

Zut alors!

So despite my failure to recall my French, or indeed even appreciate the finer points of French culture (honestly, all wine tastes basically the same to me) I've learned to crochet.  Not particularly well, mind you.  But well enough to finish the project.  Here he is -