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.