Tuesday, March 6, 2007


I spin and weave MUCH better than I knit but I find I don't miss the weaving and I am just loving this exploration of knitting. Perhaps I am a born knitter after all. While my resume is a couple pair of socks, I am now ready to embark and learn to make everything!

I remember my Grandmother. I was her girl, she and I had this connection that never needed words much as my Mother and sister have their connection. She was from Scotland, had come over to the US when she was 16. She was separated and lived alone for a great many years, divorce was unheard of in those days so she worked a full time job taking the bus to and from work in Akron, Ohio. When we would visit I would just cling to her; not that she would let me get two feet away from her!

She would sit in her chair in the evenings drinking her "wee ticky" of scotch and with me in her lap, arms around me, she would knit like there was no tomorrow. She was a smoker too I remember and one cigarette after the next would burn away in the ashtray as she forgot about it while trying to teach me to knit. I don't know how she did it to be honest. A wiggling grade schooler in her lap, watching her shows on tv and paying attention to everyone else in the room and still knitting with an amazing speed and accuracy. At one point she gave me a pair of big pink metal needles (which I have today, when she died I was given all of her knitting needles and crochet hooks) and some gaudy yarn of the old days. It was acrylic, she did use wool for particular projects and I can't clearly remember what she made beyond the winter garb my sister and I got from her. I also remember her sewing us top and pant sets for school. But this knitting she taught me was intended to be a scarf and while it started at about 20 stitches when I left Ohio.. it was about 60 stitches once in New York! So discouraged it had to wait until our next visit and once back in her chair with her while she professionally critiqued my work she would be encouraging while telling me it was beautiful and the trick with this project would be... it was then she would list things I could do with my fabric what were not the intended scarf. That scarf ended up being a dress for a doll and I was thrilled at having become a designer! Back to New York I would go with another scarf on my needles.

My knitting never got much past that point. She was patient but I was a kid and soon into horse back riding and friends and running about the countryside as an active farm kid. Today I wish I could sit with her and knit. I would love to hear her talk of Scotland and her childhood while learning everything she knew about knitting. Knitting was like breathing for her. I remember she crocheted too but that is something I never took up.

I wonder now at this need to knit. The last 7 years I have been a very restless soul and perhaps she is guiding me to a place of peace and balance. I know she has been with me for all these years and it was here in this craft that we had a strong connection.

How I miss her. How I miss the roll of the r off her tongue with her brogue as she spoke my name and always she would call me "Sharon darling".

1 comment:

Knitting Bandit said...

Great story! It makes me think of my Granny. Wouldn't it be great as adults to just get even a day to talk to the people who touched our lives when we were young? My granny was divorced when it was unheard of, lost a teenage son to a drowning, was a devoted gardener, wonderful cook and yes, she tried to teach me to crochet. I would love to learn from her and hear all about her life. Ask all the questions I didn't know to ask when I was young. Thanks for making me feel nostagic and think of her. Sweet memories!