Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Gift for a Lifetime

I found this quiz in a newsletter that I get regularly promoting their products. Just for grins, I took it because I'm curious about this topic. I wasn't that surprised that the greatest percentage of those taking the quiz learned how to knit from a parent or grandparent.

I learned to knit a long time ago (I think I was about 8 years old) from my paternal grandmother Donelda, or "Dee" as she was known to her friends. She was always knitting, sometimes alone, sometimes with friends and seemed to enjoy it so much that it seemed interesting. I loved the mittens, hats, slippers and sweaters that she made from the balls and skeins of colorful, various textured yarn and wanted to know how to do it too. How did these things get made from just needles and string anyway?

Knowing how to knit has brought much pleasure to my life throughout the years. In college it was a respite from study and allowed creativity to flourish. I knit afghans and slippers mostly then, easy enough projects that allowed relaxation and not much thought. As life has gone on I've moved on to other types of projects and built my stash of yarn. Seeing the vibrant colors and various textures gives me visual pleasure as does the thought of turning it into various projects that people will use. I've been making socks as small gifts for friends and co-workers, hats for friends who are getting treatment for cancer, slippers for friends to give to a parent. Knitting is a peaceful way to while away long winter nights. There's satisfaction in seeing a project you like and learning how to make it on your needles.

My grandmother told me she was taught to knit by her mother. She passed on that learning to me and I think about that transfer of learning through generations often. Though she's been gone for many years, I hope my Grandma Dee knows how much pleasure that the craft she taught me so long ago has brought to my life through the years and how much I appreciate the patience it took to teach me to knit. I think of her with love every time I pick up my needles.
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