Since Maria has fallen in love with the crocheted Romanian toe shoes, guess who is learning to crochet? You got it...the Mama!
I took a new pair to Grandmother June when we were home at Christmas and she figured out how to make them. She whipped out about 5 or 6 pairs while we were there. But since Maria goes through about a pair every two weeks we'll be needing some more. So I bought the big yellow book, "Crocheting for Dummies" and two hooks and the thread - that was step one. Otherwise known as the "easy" step!
Grandmother June taught me the basics and I left for Romania with my supplies.
I ordered four more pairs from Mihaela, the cleaning lady, at the gym. (Lots of Mihaelas here!) I asked her if she could teach me to make them. She said, "Sure, it is easy". I had my second lesson today. It is not so easy. My fingers feel very clumsy and she keeps telling me to relax and go "easier". I finally got the idea and left the gym with the tip of a shoe in progress.
While we were standing there in the hall of the gym and working and laughing and trying to find the words to communicate I asked her if this time last year she thought she would be teaching a crazy American Mama to crochet and she said, "no...did you think it?" I said, "no, isn't life fun?!?" (And it is...isn't it? After living across the pasture from a woman who knows how to crochet, and would have been willing to teach me in any of the past 34 years, I had to come all the way to Romania to learn. Shows you what we will do for our children doesn't it?)
I came home and after we got school finished for the day I worked again and got about a third of the shoe finished. I know there are mistakes in it but it looks VERY close to Mihaela's work. I'll take it for her to see tomorrow during practice. I still have to focus very closely but it's getting easier and I'm starting to think that I can actually learn how to do this. Maybe Maria won't have to switch back to the hot, stinky leather toe shoes when we leave Romania.