DON’T YOU FEEL FORTUNATE to have discovered the world of knit and crochet, spinning and crafting? A sweet 88-year-old nun taught me to crochet 42 years ago.  Her work was gorgeous - I was in awe.  I began by using thread to make the edging on white linen handkerchiefs.  Sister made me feel that I was making great progress, although I could never hope to achieve her masterpieces.

It’s amazing, really.  A stick or two, a ball of yarn and a page of words join forces to become an intricate fisherman design sweater or a lovely baby’s blanket that will be handed down through the family for generations.

I designed my yarn craft apron for myself.  I made a list of all the things that annoyed me when I was crocheting a project:

•  Interruptions
•  Fuzz on my clothes
•  Fur in my project
•  Yarns that resist unwinding
•  Afghans with early rows already pilling and fuzzing from friction
•  Plastic grocery bags holding hundreds of dollars worth of fine yarn

I started to observe other yarn craft people and to become aware of the project-related things that make me cringe:  A baby project falling from a stitcher’s lap onto a dirty airport floor; a ball of cashmere rolling across a church hall; a blizzard-shedding pug dog approaching a pristine afghan full speed ahead; a child’s sweater in the making, pulled from a plastic bag and exposed to the environment of a germ-laden hospital or doctor’s waiting room.

I said to myself, “There has GOT to be a better way!”

So in early 2008, addressing each problem, I made a list of what I would need to do in order to fix it.  The solutions combined and were reworked and refined at least a dozen times. The first apron I made was as clumsy looking as my first handkerchief edges.  I kept working at it.  I asked for suggestions.  One best friend gave me three: listen, listen and listen.  So I did.  I admit that I even took advice from my husband.  He asked me, “How about snaps”? On April 15, 2008, I finally made THE ONE.

I’ve fallen in love with my own yarn craft apron.  I rarely crochet without it.  I thought that other yarn crafters might find it useful, too, and they did.  I decided to follow my inspiration and the KOALA Caddie Yarn Craft Apron was born.  I introduced them at the July 2008 Knit and Crochet Show in Manchester, NH.  It was a very successful weekend.  My continuing goal is to offer a high-quality, handcrafted garment, beautiful in design and versatile in function at a reasonable price.  KOALA Caddie Yarn Craft Aprons are available at koalacaddie.etsy.com.

Happy stitching, Mary Shooshan

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The KOALA Caddie is now patented: US Patent D602230 and US Patent 7636949