The clock ticks over one. The neon glow of the alarm clock casts shadows across the walls. She paces. With each step she takes down the dark hallway she wills her tiny newborn to sleep. She needs him to sleep. For it is when he sleeps that she can start. This is Nicki. This is her story.
“I was in a rut. These four walls were closing in on me.”
“I needed something or else I was going to go crazy.”
Nicki’s four walls are covered in photographs. They are black and white moments of her, hubby and her two boys. Book shelves stand against the walls, filled with toys, children’s books and more photographs. Yet at the top of one of the book shelves, Nicki’s sewing box, inch tape and pin cushion sit as a tiny glimpse into her story.
“There was always something missing in my life. I have lots of friends with business on the side, they do things from home, and I kept seeing the pictures on Facebook and thinking there was just something missing. I needed something for myself.”
One weekend, in the middle of her house renovations, Nicki stumbled across a box of old crochet blankets in the back shed. All the blankets had been destroyed by rats. Throwing out these hand-made blankets, that had been passed down through family generations was the spark that awakened something in Nicki. “That moment opened up a whole new world.”
Nicki was taught to crochet by her mum, when she was only eleven. “My mum taught me the most basic stitch. That is all I knew.” But with YouTube and her online community of yarn addicts Nicki now has a new baby. Her store and brand Lovingly.
In the middle of the night once her boys fall asleep Nicki crochets. Most mothers would spend this time sleeping themselves, yet Nicki finds that with eight, six or even four hours of sleep she functions the same. “I’m still going to be tired. I am still going to be on the go. I am still going to need to do things.”
With each stitch and ball of yarn she turns over another row is added to her story.
She has a growing collection of hand-made blankets, booties, beanies, scarves and bags in her store. Yet, it is the tiny little hats she crochets for premmie babies that catch Nicki off guard and swell the voice in her throat. “It is not about fast money.” She says holding the tiny hat in the palm of her hand. “I’m doing this because I love it.” And it is that love that extends to the families of premmie babies. Nicki crochets premmie beanies as part of a pledge to the neonatal intensive care unit at her local hospital. Nicki offers all her premmie crochet range to her customers – free of charge. “I can’t charge them, I can’t bring myself to charge them.”
Nicki’s four walls have not changed. The clutter of toys, the nappy changes and the midnight feeds have not stopped. But the weight has been lifted. “The four walls are more colourful since I started to crochet. Women go gaga for baby stuff and these are items you would keep forever, pass down through generations.”
Nurturing and caring for a little baby can be overwhelming and isolating. Yet a crochet hook and yarn has given Nicki the chance to feel connected again. “Everyone has a story.” Nicki tells me as she hands me the hat and gloves I ordered. Turning over the soft, delicate crochet in my hands I realise that this is only the beginning of Nicki’s story.
Nicki is generously giving away a $50 voucher to her store Lovingly.
To enter the giveaway:
Answer the question: What is the one baby item you will pass down to the next generation?
All responses must be entered as comments below.
This is a game of skill and the winner selected from the answers below.
Please login with your email address.
You must like both pages and answer the question to be eligible for this giveaway.
One entry per person only.
The giveaway is for Australian residents only.
The giveaway closes on Wednesday August 7, 2013.
The winner will be announced on Thursday August 8, 2013.
The winner has 48 hours to respond or another winner will be drawn.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by cuddles from a new born, tickles with a three year old and Nicki’s generosity to allow me into her home and share her story.
If you would like to nominate someone or yourself to be part of Stories of You, please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to meet you over coffee and hear your story. Read the other incredible stories from the Stories of You collection here.