From her hands

As I knitted on my SIPs the other night, I looked down at my needles. They are plain grey metal DPNs. They aren’t special, they aren’t expensive.

They are, however, something of a family heirloom. My grandmother was quite the knitter. If she could see me now, I’m sure she would be very proud. The needles have travelled with her since forever. I’m sure some of them even came from England, her birthplace.

Although she didn’t knit when she moved in with my family, her knitting needles somehow ended up in a closet in my house, where I found them. She only has tiny DPNs and a few straight plastic ones. While I am not particularly fond of plastic needles, I do prefer metal, and I love hers. They are all in a big box, jumbled, so it is difficult to find a set of four, but I would rather do that then buy new ones.

My mother also used to be a knitter. She taught me how to knit when I was a kid, and she knit all throughout her University days. She used to cast on and cast off for me, but let me do the middle stuff. My first projects were little scarves for my stuffed animals, and they were full of dropped stitches, but she patiently taught me to knit and purl.

My mother has quite the collection of needles as well, most of which are in permanent use by me, since they all seem to be the exact size I need. I have also added to our collection of needles, meaning that it now spans three generations. I hope that this will one day continue when I am old enough to start a family myself.

As for teaching me how to knit, it was on a whim. It was a snow day (in rural Canada, the snow gets so bad that they cancel school often during the winter months), and I was probably bored. We sat down on the couch and my mother asked me if I would like to learn to knit. Using some leftover yarn and two DPNs in place of straights, she taught me the basic knit stitch. I didn’t really have too much interest in it; I mean, I knitted, but not often. It didn’t take up a large portion of my brain space. I knit. I read books. I was your typical 8 year old kid.

Then one day at my local library, I found a book called “Teen Knitting Club”. Don’t ask – I don’t know who its by, or if it was even any good. But the pictures were alluring and the quotes from teenagers who knit were so positive that I knew I had to be part of this knitting craze. I got more books, and taught myself to cast on and off. I got more books, and learned to knit in the round. It was an exciting time.

My first sock was done in December, right before Christmas. I was attempting to knit my dad socks for Christmas. My mom read the instructions for turning my first heel. It was a magical experience. I didn’t finish those socks until the following August (major Second Sock Syndrome) but that experience was amazing. I was hooked.

This knitting craze has brought my family together and carried on through generations. It isn’t just a craft; it’s an experience. It’s nice to know that I am in at least the third generation of knitters in my family.

Thanks Granny. Thanks Mom.

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