Friday, February 6, 2009

Learning to Knit

When I was a kid my Grandmother (Nan) tried to teach me to knit. I remember sitting on the couch next to her watching amazed as she created row after row and asking if she could teach me. She gave me some needles and a bright red scratchy wool, soon I was slowly making a few crooked stitches and lots of mistakes. I would start to get the hang of it, only to put the needles down and completely forget how to do anything the next time I picked them up. I don't know how many times she showed me, but it never stuck and I soon lost interest.

Many years later, long after Nan was gone, I was was suddenly struck by one of those lighting bolt ideas I get- I was going to learn to knit. 

Maybe it was all the stress of the wedding planning (we were knee deep at that time and I was wound by all the stress), or maybe I was feeling nostalgic, but I went to my local knitting store that very afternoon and bought needles and yarn. I went to the book store looked through the many offerings finally deciding on a book that looked clear, and had a yoga mat bag that I was determined to be able to make! (I still haven't done that project, perhaps it was the aforementioned wedding stress but I was doing yoga a lot more then.)

It's been about 4 years since I started knitting but I remember my Mother saying over and over how "I get that sort of thing from my Grandmother" and how she "could never learn to knit, she'd tried" and that "Nan and I were always so crafty". So it was kind of a surprise when my Mom called me one day and in a very serious "mother tone" said she wanted to ask me something...

"Can you teach me how to knit?"  Sure! Why?! I managed.

Apparently some of my Mom's friends at work have taken up knitting during lunch breaks. And my little sister (newly freed from the bounds of under-moms-wing by car of her own and a few semesters of college under her belt) had been suggesting my Mom might "need to get a hobby".

So on Saturday a few weeks later Mom and I took a shopping trip to pick out a yarn she liked. It was instant- I could see the glint in her eye at the sight of the yarn aisle. She was absolutely going to be addicted. I have seen that look...I have had that look. She left the store with (I kid you not) a new knitting bag stuffed to the brim with all sorts of yarn. (And she didn't even know how to knit yet!) The lesson was planned for another day- but I figured with that kind of look in her eye I better teach her that night (who knows what she would have done, with all that yarn taunting her, and no idea how to tame it).

She learned in record time, and by the next weekend showed up for lesson two with a (unbelievable, kind of sickeningly beautiful) scarf (with perfect stitches that no new knitter should be able to achieve) ready to bind-off.

I think it's great that not only has my Mom found something new she is so passionate about but, that she wasn't afraid to try something "she could never do".

For lesson three Mom showed up with a bag from the knitting store (she had stopped on her way up to my house "for a certain size needle" but somehow left with a huge bag of yarn). 

I have a feeling that her skills will soon surpass anything I can show her- and her stash will need more room than mine. (I won't forget that she laughed and asked when I was opening a yarn store when I let her roam the stash to look for something she might like.)

Sorry no pictures of Mom's first scarf yet- this was of her test swatch trying to decide on project two. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Made (and destroyed) with love

So thanks to Martha (and Joanne's post on this) our cat got some handmade love.

She's already slightly obsessed with yarn and steals my needles (hiding them under the couch) so this may have been a bad move on my part...but I couldn't resist these, they were so cute.

The hearts are already tattered and and have a few ripped stitches (but the cat is loving to" hate" them). Next time I think I'll use wool, that way she'll just felt them while she tries to "kill them".

Monday, February 2, 2009

Shadows and Light

So the Groundhog said 6 more weeks of winter (I think he must have made a mistake). If I were the seer of seers the prognosticator of all prognosticators Spring would be on the way sooner rather than later. Here are my indicators that Spring will soon be here.

1. Here in my part of New England we've had two mostly sunny days in a row where we've seen temperatures above 45! (I am totally in denial about the snow we are supposed to get tonight.)

2. I wore these shoes to work today instead of snow boots. (This may be a foolish case of denial- or a full fledged case of Spring fever?)

3. The sound of melting snow and ice can be heard, and the air smells like thawing earth. (If I were to acknowledge the snow we are supposed to get- the fact that it's only 1-3 inches instead of 1 foot is surely another sign of spring.)

4. I have pulled these sunny colored little daisies out and started knitting a few more. (I think they last saw daylight about this time last year.)

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