Thursday, January 31, 2013

knitting



A couple of weeks ago, on my mother's birthday, I went to a community meeting to discover some people learning to knit. My mother picked up knitting in the last two years of her life and was brought so much joy by it. I've intended to learn since she gave me the first scarf she knit for me, but just haven't found the time (or lack of intimidation, maybe) to go through all of her supplies to make sense of them all.  So bit by bit, with the help of a great knitter and teacher,  I was knitting right through my meeting.  I spent the rest of my mom's birthday practicing her favorite craft with her yarn and needles, something I hadn't planned for the day but which couldn't have been any more perfect.  I'm hooked. 

This Joan Baez record has soundtracked most of my knitting.  I keep putting other records on and then switching back pretty quickly - they just go so well together, Joan and the tapping needles.  I really love that knitting is something you can do tiny bit by tiny bit - a stitch here, a wiped jam-face there - though my favorite making times of late have been getting into a good (long) knitting groove with Joan.

This week I'm learning the purl stitch (it's slow going around here, people - jam faces and all) and am reminded again of how much I love the name Pearl.  I also expect to see Joan and Joanie popping up more on little ones. And heck, there's Baez, too.  All pretty, cozy, sturdy names, I think. 

Do you knit?  Happy knitting!





9 comments:

  1. Sounds like a perfect way to honour your mom on her birthday.

    Knitting is one of my favourite things to do which similarly has a connection to my mother as she taught me many years ago. Now Stella is learning and it makes me so happy to pass that on to her.

    Also, completely understand about the jam faces! I have a scarf I've been trying to finish since last summer :)

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    1. Ahh, generation to generation to generation... and on even. So special. I love the idea of passing along special knowledge, more than the stuff it produces, really - it really is like it's own living thing.. connects us. How old is Stella again, Bessie?

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    2. I definitely agree, the things my mother taught me and the memories that produced are more important to me now than any of the things I've created with that knowledge.

      Stella is 7 in April, but Phoebe (who is four) has been learning finger crochet which I would recommend for someone for about her age - So maybe for Nona? It's a little tricky but with some chunky yarn and a little guidance she could have a chain going in no time. This post has some great tips and a link to a video tutorial if you would like to give it a try:

      http://babyccinokids.com/blog/2012/02/03/stitch-n-kids-finger-crochet/

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  2. Ohh, welcome to the fold! I took up knitting about a year and a half ago and it's improved my life more than I can say. (Some might call it a wee obsession.) The videos at Knittinghelp.com are a great resource, fyi.

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    1. A year and half ago?! Wow, Karen- after looking over your blog (beautiful, by the way!) that brings a lot of hope and happy anticipation. I can't imagine even understanding the knitting language yet, but I trust it will all come. It's funny, learning sewing, weaving, knitting, etc... gives me the sense that so many other bodies of skill/knowledge (many of them quite technical and time consuming) that I once thought unlearnable are actually quite approachable! Pretty freeing!

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  3. I love the idea of more Joans and Joanie/Joni's, too! Sadly "j" is pronounced as "y" in Holland so you lose that lovely crispness...

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  4. I've had 'a' knitting lesson. I have a dvd and a little contraption to help me knit my own socks, but I haven't take the time to buy the yarn or watch the dvd yet. I want to though. I confess I was intimidated. My mother sat in for part of the knitting lesson - she didn't know how either, but she's an avid crocheter- and she went so fast, and it was all I could do to keep the needles and yarn in my hands, let alone make anything with them. I'll try it again sometime though. I liked how you spent your mom's birthday. I have a few friends that have lost their moms in the past few years and it's been very hard for them, especially around certain times, and the birthday, yeah, that's a tough one. But I felt comforted reading how you spent yours. Because I am terrified at the prospect of losing either parent, but it happens eventually. As for Joan Baez - LOVE her. Especially a little known song of hers East Virginia, and of course "there but for fortune". I dig the name Joan too (Joanie is so cute! and the nursery rhyme about Little Jumping Joan). This is my aunt's name, but I also think of Joan of Arc. Lots of folks aren't ready for it to come back, but I think it has a very modern feel, actually.

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    1. Thank you for the thoughtful comment. My heart goes out to anyone grieving. I try not to force anything with mine - just to let it come as it will. My mom's birthday was full of both joy and sadness, but mostly joy (and other days are mostly sadness with seemingly no rhyme or reason). I've said it before, but a big part of my grief has been this very transformative energy that has resulted in great personal changes and clarity. I've always wanted to knit, and I love that every time I do I feel I'm sort of honoring and connecting with my mom, too. I haven't been around here too often due to the knitting, actually! I'm learning through a book and Youtube videos and am doing my first hat now - I was so clumsy at first, but it really does seem to be one of those very natural and intuitive crafts - much improvement comes with even modest practice. If you enjoy it, just keep at it and you'll be rolling with it in no time!

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