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!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Whispering Mittens

In my quest for the perfect mitten pattern, I came across The Mitten Book by Inger Gottfridsson. The book contains patterns that were first preserved and published by Hermanna Stengard  in 1925. Before I even looked through the book I decided I loved it . . . just based on the quote by Stengard in the front of the book.
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"How would it look, do you think, if everyone, old and young, would sit down together and knit for awhile? Laughter and merriment and riddles and questions and folktales and anecdotes from each person's life would blend together in the stitches. Then later, when you recalled these events that have gone through your own fingers stitch by stitch, they would speak their own quiet language: Do you remember? Do you remember?"

It just struck such a chord with me. Haven't you done that? Knitted something and then whenever you wore it . . . you remembered where you were in your life at that time. 

I have my first two-color Norwegian sweater sitting forlornly in my cedar chest. I never wear it anymore, but I can't bear to part with it. I made it when my kids were just toddlers - sneaking literally a row, or maybe two, each night after they were asleep. Then there's the green scarf from a skein of yarn I found one weekend when my husband and I went away . . . the shawl I made went I went through chemo treatments . . . the scarf I made from a kit that I purchased when I went to my first Stitches East Convention . . . the mohair coat my mother made from yarn she purchased on one of her past yearly visits to my aunt in Maryland. It goes on. So many knitted pieces gently whispering "Do you remember? Do you remember?" when I open my closet door.

Go ahead, look through the book. Imagine knitting a pattern that was also worked about 200 years ago by another knitter across the world. The patterns may be more work than you care to put into a pair of mittens . . . or maybe not. You could thread a little love into your skein of wool . . . knit them up . . . then cherish them for being a reminder of how fortunate you are today . . . right now . . . in this quickly changing world. 

I think Hermanna may be on to something.

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

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