Remembering fondly my childhood, learning to knit, in grandma's knitting garden.

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Kiazoom wrote
on Sep 2, 2010 6:12 PM

I had the ideal introduction and passage into the world of knitting, I earned it.  It was magical and fun and done at the knee of my grandmother.  Every summer, during summer sessions,  I visited her in France.  She'd come to where ever we were, in Europe at the time, and take me home with her via the train.  That in itself  was inspiring, just watching the villages go by and the colors come and go.  I think it helped inspire my love of art...just watching it, naturally happen outside the window.  Old villages, with old men tending to lazy cows....young women  carrying their daily bread in beautifully crafted bags, some knitted, most not.  School children in knitted skirts, socks, hats, sweaters at any time of the year really.   Neighbors visiting and bringing in their latest projects to the house, usually for my grandmother to fix, but as lovely as she was, she always turned it into a treasured  find instead of a flaw...big hole, no problem, just look at the button that will go there!  Sleeves too long...no they're not, just look at them begging to be rolled and hemmed just so!  She was a perfect grandmother.  She sat patiently with me, hours upon hours, under the huge cherry tree in her back yard that  shaded most of the patio. I remember climbing out onto the second story roof and cramming mothfuls of cherries in as soon and as fast as I could collect the bowls full that Grandma wanted.  .  She knitted for her family for nothing other than the joy of it and she cooed loving encouragement at me when signs of frustration picked it's way into my less than stellar supply of patience.  Magically, at the end of the summer I'd always have a doll sweater or dress, ready and so proud to show it to my family and especially delighted to tell my other little girlfriends  that I had made it.  To this day, if I need to get-away, to take a mind break, I can go into my knitting place and completely disengage from the phone, the computer, the laundry,  and go instantly back to that place that made me the person I am today.  I have beautiful dresses I knitted for my children when they were babies and yes, I have  pictures of them.  And, yes, most have cherries in them somewhere.  Thank you Grandma.          

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Zoe wrote
on Sep 2, 2010 6:39 PM

Kiazoom:
To this day, if I need to get-away, to take a mind break, I can go into my knitting place and completely disengage from the phone, the computer, the laundry,  and go instantly back to that place that made me the person I am today. 

 

Hi Kiazoom,

That is such a wonderful experience you had and one which is wished for by all knitters.  I had a wonderful mother who would give me the same experience only these wonderful passages into the world of knitting took place during the long cold evenings of the Canadian winter!  I was about 10 or so when my Mom taught me to knit -- a pair of red socks on dpns.  I completed one sock and then we moved and I never found the sock again for many years.  I still have it today some "40" years later.  Guess what?  socks are still my favorite things to knit.  I always have a pair on my needles that I can just pick up and "go back to that place".  Mom also taught me to crochet.

Knitting makes wonderful memories, Zoe

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Kiazoom wrote
on Sep 2, 2010 7:43 PM

Hi Zoe,

So nice to meet a fellow knitter from Canada!  I am so jealous you get your inspitration (and motivation) from such a lovely place.  It sounds like you too had the wonderful experience I did as a child.  My grandmother and your mother both set high bars for us to meet...an we did. ( Your standards much higher than mine as it wasns't till I was in my teens before I took on DPN! )  I didn't get it perfectly on the first try, or the second.  What I learned mostly was what  not (knot) to do!! But by the end of summer I really had made something all by myself; knit, purl, increases, decreases and all!  It wasn't a masterpiece, but it was mine and it is the anchor that holds my soul to that gracious place!  Thank you for sharing your story with me.  I am so honored.  I don't think now I'll ever look at socks on needles without thinkinig of that knitter in Canada!! Here's to  Mom and Grandma! Best, Kia

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Zoe wrote
on Sep 2, 2010 10:12 PM

Hi Kiazoom,

I remember my Mom really looking at my knitted stitches to see how "even" they were.  Many times she dropped a stitch off the needle in order to knit it up properly where I had gone wrong.  I can never ever remember ever loosing a dpn.  Mom taught me on 3 dpns with knitting onto the 4th.  She was so patient.  She knit the English method but taught me the continental style because it was faster.  My paternal grandmother knit this way and she was a very fast knitter.  Mom tried to teach my older sister how to knit but she was the "scatter-brained" child and couldn't/wouldn't learn.  I would watch my Mom knit by the hour in the evening once my two younger brothers were in bed.

It is still happy knitting and fascinating too!  Zoe

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Bbelle wrote
on Sep 4, 2010 4:26 PM

Hello Canadians!

I, too, learned from my Grandmother.  I was the oldest of 4 children and my Dad worked away alot so I got to go to Grandma's alot of weekends because my creativeness was a little much for my mother.  I thought it was fantastic and amazing to spend so much time with Grandma all to myself.  I think I learned to walk, talk, sew and then knit all by the time I was 3.  I can't remember a time when I didn't knit.  I am not schooled in the different types of knitting because my Grandma just put the needles in my hands and held them to guide my hands until I learned how to hold it and wrap the yarn without dropping anything.  She never corrected me and neither did my other Grandma so I'm afraid my knitting style can be compared to 'tossing a salad' (according to my second Grandma - she didn't have enough energy to even try to make a difference in my technique).  Consequently, I knit very evenly, have good tension, but am very slow at it.  Some day, before I have too much arthritis, I will take some lessons and knit some scarves to try to learn a faster and more efficient way to knit.  Right now, I'm working on finishing the Every Way Wrap, have just the caps on the sleeves of the Minimalist Cardigan, and my oldest son just announced I'm going to be a Grandma - no time for messing around with new stuff!  Just sticking to the tried and true because now I have baby deadlines!  I'm so happy to be knitting little things!

Knitting is such a big part of my world...I'm sad to know that there may be a day in my future when I might not be able to manage the pleasure so much.

I wanted to put a little shout out to anyone who knits with a guild and might be looking for projects to do so hope that you might help spread the word.  I work in extended care and see a tremendous need for leg warmers for little old ladies who are confined to wheelchairs.  These ladies often end up in open-backed dresses because it is easier on their rickety bones when dressing them.  We have many lap blankets but they only do half the job required.  The ladies complain of drafts to the back side of their legs while sitting up in their chairs.  The other problem that the leg warmers help to prevent is skiin damage from rubbing on wheelchair parts or even just from touching them - they become so fragile and don't have alot of circulation to help keep them warm or keep their skin healthy.  Leg warmers would be a great alternative project if the hospitals are becoming filled with preemie hats.  Leg warmers made not too large (the ladies are often fairly thin by this time) made of some soft machine washable yarn would be very welcomed by many!

ttfn - happy knitting!

Brenda  :o)

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ZassZ wrote
on Sep 4, 2010 4:42 PM

Hi Brenda,

Congratulations.  Try the youtube videos on all kinds of kntting techniques.  Very informative and help get you up to speed.  Although you don't have to knit "fast" to enjoy knitting.

Just go at your own pace and everything else will fall into place

 And all the women who were wise of heart spun with their hands, and they kept bringing as yarn the blue thread and the wool dyed reddish purple, the coccus scarlet material and the fine linen.   Ex. 35:25 

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