Saturday, July 11, 2009

Knitting: A Link to the Past?

For me, knitting is an on-going history of which I am an active participant. I learned to knit from my mother who was taught my her mother and grandmother, who in turn were taught by their mothers . . . and so on, ad infinitum. It goes on much as one stitch connects to the one before it, so too I am connected to my ancestors. And I feel blessed to have been given the chance to learn how to fashion fabric from sticks and string (oddly enough, my sisters never shared any interest in learning to knit, although one of them did sew for a while). I don't have any daughters onto which to pass on my skills, but one of my sons has expressed an interest in learning the craft.

I don't recall the exact age when I learned. Sometime before I turned 10, my mom busily knit many sweaters and such for my youngest sibling (who was in utero). I'm not sure if it was then or some time afterwards that my mom took the time to teach me. I remember she had bought me my own plastic needles; they were bright yellow (my sister had the green ones, but she wasn't too keen on the whole string-and-stick thing in the first place). I distinctly recall making a garter stitch scarf for one of my dolls. With each new row, the thing inexplicably grew width-wise as well as length-wise.

Once I was proficient enough, I naturally sought projects to practise my newly learned skills. Dreamly I browsed through the craft section in our local Woolworths (yea, that dates me, doesn't it). I'd fondle the yarns (yeah, they were acrylic but they were still fun to touch) and browse through the Beehive Patons booklets. The one that stole my heart and fanned my imagination: Patons booklet #139.

See all those Barbie doll outfits? Oh how I loved my Barbies! I ended up making the blue suit, the sheath dress and I think the long coat. I made some cute baby doll outfits too.

The last time I had visited my mom, I discovered to my great disappointment that she had gotten rid of all her old crochet and knitting books and magazines. I was so disheartened! I had hoped to take them all home with me as my mom no longer knitted.

And then one day while browsing through some old craft books at a rummage sale on campus, my little eye spied one Patons booklet: book #139!! I swear I jumped and I think my boys looked at me funny. I snatched that baby so fast . . . my childhood had come back and I could hold it in my hands!

I haven't knit anything out of that booklet--at least not yet. I'm waiting for my niece to be old enough for Barbies (is it wrong to still fondly walk through the Barbie aisle at the toy store?). I'm sure I will some day. . . .

Such good memories filled with fibery goodness--of the acrylic variety of course. After all, it was the seventies (I know. I'm old). Some day, I'll regal you with my fondest crochet memories full of ponchoes, granny-square vests, never-ending afghans and purty doilies . . . good times!!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails