How who you meet in the 3rd grade can change your life

Last night, after I pressed the “Publish” button for my blog post, I did a few things around the house, and then went to bed.

While there were still 30 ends or so to be woven in and trimmed, there was no point in staying up to work on them because I knew that as early as my mornings start, I would have the cookieghan completed long before there was sufficient light to get a good photograph of the finished project.

And that is exactly what happened.

So after the ends were woven in and trimmed, I waited for enough sun to stream through the clouds and into my living room, and considered the sequence of events that brought me to this project, a sequence that began in the fall of 1968 when I entered the 3rd grade.

Here is how we looked then:

Mrs. Cook's third grade class

Mrs. Cook’s third grade class

I have many fond memories of the third grade, but what I didn’t know at the time, and what did not reveal itself completely until last summer when I finished work on my first Cookieghan, was that one of the associations I had made so long ago was going to have a profound impact on my crochet life.

(I am in the front row, second from the left, and the friend who is responsible for my crochet cookie obsession is also in the front row with two long pigtails and a red sweater.)

In 2010, when many of us in Mrs. Cook’s long ago third grade class began to turn 50, I decided that I really wanted to make something for my friend, and knowing that she, like her mother before her, was a skilled cookie baker, I decided that something based on cookies would be a just the thing.

At the time, I had imagined it would take me just eight weeks or so to design and execute the project. Eighteen months later, I finally finished work on it and sent to her so she could use it as she saw fit:

The first cookieghan

The first cookieghan

After I had packed it up and sent it off, I had thought that I would never make another cookieghan.

But the cookies would not leave me alone, and when I began work on this year’s state fair piece I found myself working on the second rendition of the cookieghan.

As with most things I do, the second rendition got just a little more complicated than the first, but just eleven-and-a-half-weeks after I tied the first slip knot for the first crochet cookie I would make for Cookieghan 2.0, it was done.

Here is a detail of the finished project:

A detail of cookieghan 2.0

A detail of cookieghan 2.0

And here is an overview of the completed piece with all of the ends woven in and trimmed:

An overview of Cookieghan 2.0

An overview of Cookieghan 2.0

I can assure my readers that on that picture day so many years ago, I had many ideas of what I wanted to do with my life and crocheting cookies was not one of them, but today as I finished work on this most recent rendition, I know that these cookies and I are not quite done with each other, and I can hardly wait to see what is next.


25 Comments on How who you meet in the 3rd grade can change your life

  1. Maria Vazquez
    October, 14th 2013 at 11:31 pm

    Congratulations! Thank you for taking us along on your journey from start to finish with another fab project. I’m predicting a best in show winner!

  2. Nikki
    October, 14th 2013 at 11:43 pm

    I would love to know where I can find some free cookie patterns. I LOVE this! Congratulations on a BLUE RIBBON cookieghan (at least in my book)! :)

  3. Betty Radcliffe
    October, 15th 2013 at 12:18 am

    My dear cookieghan woman! I know now that you will be Queen of the North Carolina State Fair and win the Blue Ribbon for that beautiful afghan. I’m going to congratulate you right now!!! You sure do have enthusiam and a great work ethic. Good for you! I’m waiting with baited breath (never understood that one) for your next project!! Betty Lynn Radcliffe

  4. Lindsey
    October, 15th 2013 at 3:48 am

    What a lovely story! I met my husband in third grade. It’s a good year. :)

  5. Cindy
    October, 15th 2013 at 4:51 am

    Love the project, inspiration and the story!

  6. Valerie
    October, 15th 2013 at 4:59 am

    I have been watching your cookie ghan develop. Love it! I love watching it come together without knowing the story behind it. The story makes it all that much sweeter. It sounds to me like your cookie journey is not quite over yet, so i guess we have to stay tuned to see where the next path leads. Excellentjob on this. Blue ribbon winner for sure!!

  7. Estella
    October, 15th 2013 at 5:28 am

    Hi Leslie,
    First I thought that your cookieghan was special without the gaps filled in, but now that your ghan is finished I am not so sure.
    It looks also great with the gaps filled!

    (I envy you because, as you write, ‘the cookies would not leave me alone’. Sometimes I wish I had a similar obsession. There is so much choice out there, that I often cannot decide what to crochet… ;-))

  8. Angela
    October, 15th 2013 at 6:01 am

    Blue Ribbon for sure! You should enter this in CGOA Design contest 2014. :0)

  9. virginia why
    October, 15th 2013 at 7:46 am

    My so beautifully.What a great idea. GOD’S BLESSINGS.

  10. dawn sparks
    October, 15th 2013 at 8:29 am

    It is absolutely stunning!!!!!

  11. Ann
    October, 15th 2013 at 8:56 am

    Really creative and beautifully done. I Look forward to seeing what comes next.

  12. barb
    October, 15th 2013 at 9:41 am


  13. Cheryl
    October, 15th 2013 at 10:55 am

    Absolutely beautiful!! I love unconventional afghans and this one is just wonderful…if you ever decide to pass on the recipe…I mean pattern.….please put me on your list! :)

  14. Gail
    October, 16th 2013 at 6:06 am

    WOW!!… Had to comment.. Absolutely Beautiful.. Thanks so much for sharing your love of crochet…<3

  15. Maddy
    October, 16th 2013 at 3:15 pm

    You’ve outdone yourself. First place, blue ribbon, champion. Congratulations, whatever the outcome. You are truly amazing!

  16. LindaDawn64
    October, 16th 2013 at 4:09 pm

    A beautiful journey of the cookghan, delightful and amazing work. Good luck at the State Fair, it’s a winner for sure :-)

  17. Carol
    October, 16th 2013 at 7:49 pm

    Simply amazing!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE

  18. Cheryl
    October, 16th 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Your work is so lovely! i love the cookiegrahn. Is there a pattern I can buy? My little grandson would love this. He is crazy about cookies. Might even get him into bed on time.

  19. Skiddles
    October, 16th 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Little did I know that my 3rd grade teacher would become my Inlaw.I married her nephew.Love your cookies!!!!

  20. kat
    October, 17th 2013 at 9:46 pm

    is there a pattern for these? I would so love to make one

  21. Anne
    October, 18th 2013 at 12:08 am

    That is gorgeous! I would love to see it close up and personal. You ladies who design your own projects are amazing to me. I’m with everyone else, you should definitely win a Blue Ribbon.

  22. donna
    October, 19th 2013 at 5:50 pm

    OMG I kept peaking in the corner of my eye and said I just read a blog about this afghan. I did not notice if you had a ribbon on yours but I know mine did for laprobe 2 colors. great work you did here, look forward to seeing more!

  23. Leslie Stahlhut
    October, 19th 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Congratulations on your laprobe! Cookieghan 2.0 got a 2nd place.

  24. donna
    October, 20th 2013 at 6:25 pm

    thanks and congrats to you, second place is better than no place. I was so anxious and nervous about mine. when i got there they were all bunched up, could not tell if ribbon was on mine or next one, until hubby asked lady to turn it to mine, then we cried. your is beautiful and look forward to seeing what else you come up with! 😉

  25. Shavavian
    December, 9th 2013 at 12:06 am

    just absolutely beautiful.

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