I sewed a great deal in my twenties, making clothes for myself and my daughter, but that was the extent of my crafting ability. Shortly after I became a single parent, and struggling financially, I found a kit to make a Santa using something called latch hook. While I had never even heard of this technique, the kit was inexpensive and I wanted some decoration for our first Christmas alone.
Latch hook turns out to be quite easy, just using a metal hook, mesh canvas and many short pre-cut pieces of yarn that are looped through the mesh. This canvas even had color coding, leaving no doubt which loop went where. The directions on the box were easy to follow, and I created the wall hanging pictured above. I went on to do more latch hook projects, mainly pillows, until I left the craft for more challenging embroidery and counted cross-stitch.
Each year, as I hang this Santa in its place on the inside of our back door, I think back 41 years to that Christmas. I had needed to create a life from scratch. With $20 I scrounged the second hand store near by for ornaments. My daughter had her picture taken with Santa at day care and mounted in a gift frame for me. We didn’t have much, but we were safe and warm. It was a Merry Christmas in the end after all.