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Archive for May, 2009

My inspiration

Was on Ravelry earlier today and saw a post about mother-daughter lookalikes. I was inspired to write about my knitting inspiration – my mother, whom everyone says looks like she could be my sister.

When my mom was in her teens, she wanted to learn how to knit, and she went to her own mother, who didn’t know how. So mom decided to ask one of her neighbours, an elderly lady who taught her both picking AND throwing (she tends towards picking to this day). Mom used to go to the Value Village and Salvation Army to find old sweaters for $1 or less, and would unravel them and make new sweaters out of them.

Growing up, I didn’t understand why my mom took so much time to knit things, nice as they were when she could just buy them. As a young child, I didn’t see the poverty that swallowed our family, and so could not appreciate the value of handmade clothes. I was so upset one Christmas when my brothers and I received matching scratchy handmade sweaters and little else – how I regret my childish tantrums over having to wear them now.

Eventually, curiosity got the best of me and I asked her to teach me how to knit. Mom decided it would be best to show me how to throw rather than how to pick. My little hands were slow to learn, but in time I got the hang of it and mastered garter stitch. She eventually taught me how to purl, cast off, and many other simple skills. When she saw me struggle with remembering how to do a purl stitch, she let me figure it out for myself until slowly, painstakingly, I got it. Mom always knew that once she showed me the ropes, I’d come to love it as much as she did.

I have so many memories of her knitting, like how she would knit at the beach, and one day a seagull crapped all over the baby afghan she was knitting for my cousin. Or, when my Girl Guides troop was making knitted squares to sew into quilts for a local woman’s shelter and I was asked who taught me, I proudly announced “My mommy!” and pointed across the room, where she was immersed in teaching another girl the basics – she was just starting out as a troop leader. I can see her sitting on her easy chair in the living room, with our dog Sonny at her feet and the sage-green afghan she made for herself draped over her lap.

My mother’s love for me and for the craft she taught me to love were blended together when it came time for my wedding shower last April. Mom knitted well over 100 cotton dishcloths for guests to take as shower favors, and I remember her making at least one per day during the months leading up to it. I offered to make some too, but she insisted on doing them herself. That’s just mom’s way, though. 🙂

My mom and I don’t talk very often due to our busy schedules, and heaven only knows our relationship has been a stormy one from the beginning due to our very similar personalities grating and sparking off each other. But no matter what we say or do, we both know how much we love each other – we are spun from the same stuff, after all!

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Oh man, last-minute baby shower gifts are a new breed of hell. Nah, I jest – I adore making tiny things for tiny people. However, I haven’t much time to finish anything large and lovely (i.e. numerous baby sweaters or a blanket) so I am settling for a pair of Saartje’s Booties, a set of bebe mitts, and a wee hat. Krissy’s baby shower is June 8th, so I have plenty of time.

Once the tiny people things are out of the way, I have to focus on a somewhat larger small person – my almost-2-year-old niece Dalayna, for whom I am making a Rainbow Dress. She’s blonde, chubby-cheeked and overall the cutest kid ever, so I think it’ll look perfect on her. ^-^

Progress on the Husband Anniversary Sweater is fantastic, given the circumstances – our anniversary is in August and I have about 4 inches of the 2nd sleeve completed thus far. I work 4-on, 4-off night shifts so it shouldn’t take me too long to complete if I do a few inches every night.

And that’s my contribution to the blogosphere for a wee while. Peace!

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