Tuesday, November 23, 2004

How we knit, how we live

November 23, 2004

I started driving kids around this morning at 6am getting the oldest to swim team practice. Some where around 7:30 and starting my fourth trip I started thinking about knitting; knitting forward, purling versus knitting backward, how you carry your yarn, English or Continental, or throw and pick as my friend Kaye would say. And how we knit is a reflection of who we are.

My mother taught me to knit when I was under ten, I didn’t do it much, there didn’t seem to be much point she was fast and I was slow. My mother knitted everywhere, at my brother’s swim meets, waiting at my piano lessons, while we watched TV, in the dark at school assemblies. I can always hear the sound of my mother’s needles.

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My mother usually made up her own patterns, she measured you, she did her gauge swatch and she did the math. When I was little she made raglan sweaters with three stripes around the chest.

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A while later she switched to rainbow sweaters, rainbow colors for the stripes. First she researched what order the colors really are in a rainbow. She measured your hand and a day or two later you had mittens to keep you warm.

How like my mother. She wasn’t really like everyone else’s mom. She didn’t follow a pattern. I never realized it until I was much older that everyone’s mom wasn’t like mine. If she had been born twenty years later I am sure she would have been a hippie. She jogged before anyone had hear of it, she put wheat germ in her brownies, fed us whole wheat bread, and taught us the names of the wild flowers and stars.

She lives like she knits, she makes her sweaters according to her own calculations with out following someone else’s plan and she made her life according to her own design.

Occasionally she would knit some complex sweater, Aran isle, or an Icelandic with a ornate yolk, but even with someone else’s pattern she would apply her knitting knowledge, not follow blindly.

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