On the third Monday of the month a group of enthusiastic knitters meet in the Resource Room at the Duxbury Free Library. From 6:00 - 8:00 you can find knitters of various skill levels with yarn between their fingers. We would love you to join us. If you can't, follow us here!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

"Getting Through the Day . . . One Stitch at a Time" (Pinterest)

I've been reading Knitting Yarns and enjoying it!! It has made me stop and think (always a dangerous repercussion!). If someone asked me what knitting means to me, I'm not sure how I would respond.

My family has always been doing 'crafts' for as long as I can remember. My grandmother was always crocheting or doing crewel, my father had skill saws in the attic that created desks for my sister and I along with grandmother clocks that still chime on the hour in the homes where they rest. There were cousins doing macrame and there were aunts that were always knitting. These same aunts were always supportive to any of their nieces that asked to be taught to knit. (I quickly noticed that if you were learning to knit you were excused from the dishes so you could "practice and learn". Needless to say I asked to be taught!). One by one we were all taught during summer afternoons and evenings at their Mattapoisett beach house.

As I grew older I don't remember knitting as much. (Probably when my aunts finally caught on and I was recruited for KP duty again!). My mother is also a knitter so if I ever wanted a sweater I simply had to 'place an order'. I had a Lopi with a hood, Fair Isles in hand picked colors of sherbert, Penny Strakers, sweaters with boats, shells and cows. (Why would I ever have wanted to wear cows on my body? What was I thinking?!) I was just too busy blow drying my hair straight and talking on the phone with my girlfriends (from inside the closet) to find time to knit.

One year my mother made
 matching Beatrix Potter
sweaters and hats.

It wasn't until I had my kids that I began knitting again. (Although my mother made countless sweaters for my kids!) I was a stay at home mom and when strangers commented on their hand-knit sweaters (knit by my mother), I thought I could create a little cottage industry.  I did my share of craft shows and sold a few sweaters, hats and doll sweaters. It didn't take long to realize that not only was I not going to get rich, I would be lucky to make enough for pizza! 

Another year there were
 sweaters in matching
patterns but different colors.
My local yarn store owner then asked me if I would be interested in  teaching classes at the shop.  I soon found myself teaching beginner's knitting every other Friday night. Suddenly I found something that I was good at - or at least my group brainwashed me into thinking it. I loved passing the craft on to others and I was blessed to meet some remarkable women, many of them dealing with 'life'. As my kids grew older it became to hard to teach . . . there were softball and hockey games, band concerts, and only so many hours in a day.

Through all those years there were also doctors appointments, arguments, hospital visits, late nights waiting for new drivers to come home, and all those other big and little things that life throws at us. There were also complicated cable patterns, intarsia sweaters, scarves and mittens and felted hats.  Somehow the rhythmic clicking of my needles helped get me through it all. After a few rows, most problems seem a little smaller and some just go away. 

So what does knitting mean to me? I guess it's a way to escape the dishes and reality, it's a bond between myself, my mother and my aunts, it's a way to make friends and perhaps if I am lucky  - to be able to make a difference in one of their lives, it's a way to give a little love and it's a way to receive a little love, it's a way to keep my brain active.

Oh yeah, and sweaters. It's the best way to get a sweater that will fit me perfectly that no one else on the street will have.

Until the next time, keep your nose in a book or your fingers in fiber.       .

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