Sunday, November 19, 2006

one more meme

As promised. For Scout.
(sorry it's a couple days late, darlin' was a get-away weekend!! *smile*)

1. How and when did you learn how to knit/crochet? Who taught you?

Mom, if you are reading, and I have this wrong, feel free to correct me :-)

I think I was about 7. My family was visiting Solvang, CA and I was allowed to buy one item from a toy store (most of the items in the store being "old fashioned/handcrafted"). I picked out this little book about knitting. I can practically see it in my mind. It was about 3x5 and had a lot of blue on the cover. My mom had done some knitting, and I assume she helped me with casting on, but I also think I took very well to reading the instructions and doing things myself. I specifically remember knitting soft-boiled egg cozies for my grandparents, amongst several other items. About a year later, some lady offered an after school knitting class at her home. I was the only kid that already knew how to knit, so I got to choose my own project. I chose to knit a varsity cardigan for a babydoll. It was lemon yellow with a white stripe just below the waist. I remember my mom helping me cast on, and I think she also taught me how to change colors and do the shoulder shaping. I have no idea why, but I have this image of my doing some of this knitting in the bathroom LOLOL.

I don't think I did any knitting again until my early 20's when I knit this very wide, very long garter stitch scarf (mostly to keep myself distracted during meetings). I then started on one of those afghans where every square taught some new technique. I also had a pattern library and would just swatch squares, with no real intention towards a project. I also taught my friend Karen B. to knit back then, too...I still have the little stockinette "mojo" bag she made for me to thank me for teaching her (wonder where she went...she moved out of state, and I lost her). Anyhow, also in that era, I decided to try making my first garment. A mauve colored tank top. I started it, and knowing nothing of guage, it was clearly going to turn out enormous. I shoved it in a bag, and that was that.

I didn't pick up knitting again until about 2-1/2 years or so ago at the suggestion of my accupuncturist. For the entire first year after my accident, I couldn't even lift the fingers on my right hand due to nerve damage. It was suggested that I take up some form of repetitive exercise regimen that included small hand movements. With all the therapy I was having for my pelvis and legs, plus the stretching and weights for the arm/shoulder, I couldn't bear taking on another physical therapy routine for the hands, too. So I decided to pick up the needles as my physical therapy.

My first project back in action was my kitty ears hat, and it was my first time knitting in the round, first time with dpn's, first time getting gauge for a fitted item, my first real wool, and my first i-cord. I've been pretty busy cranking out stuff ever since.

2. How has this craft impacted your life? (besides financially!)

Well, for starters, my fingers work again!
And I think the real question is what area of my life has this craft NOT impacted. Seriously. I have made friends through knitting. I have created think time through knitting. I have calmed myself through knitting. I have been mentally engage and challenged by knitting. I regained a sense of my creativity during I time I was struggling with my dancing (that one is still ongoing) with knitting. I regained confidence in myself, and a sense of pride and accomplishment. I have a hobby I can share with my child. I have made things with my own hands that I have enjoyed gifting to others. I think I could go on....but again, the point is....deep impact. Almost everywhere.

3. Pick at least one person to talk about who you have met through the knit-world and why you are thankful to have met them. Feel free to get all mushy.

Hildred. I have no idea if you still drop in on my blog, lady...but if you do, I love you. And if you don't stop by here, well....I'll tell you I love you when you get back from your trip ;-)

I met Hildred at the knitting workshop held at my LYS (now closed). Even then, she and I would sometimes meet at her home for tea, knit and chat. I don't know how old Hildred is, but in the maiden-mother-crone spectrum, she's in the crone-zone, and crone is a word I use with utmost respect. Hildred is vivacious. She is one upbeat lady, and is able to put a positive (or at least humorous) spin on things, even if she finds those things annoying. She has a laugh that really is proof positive to her honest and grand sense of humor.

She is extremely giving of her time and of herself. She primarly knits using yarns from recycled thrift store sweaters to make scarves that will be sold at charity fundraisers. She's brave at trying out new stitch patterns, but has pretty much stuck to scarves...excpet every once in a while she'll whip up some amazing non-scarfy thing out of the blue.

Speaking of giving, she is a retired physical therapist, and has given me loads of advice and hands on healing/bodywork.

And I don't know if this will make sense, but....Hildred has never once treated me gimpy. She has never once treated me like a young whippersnapper. She has never treated me like I was anything other than...well...sounds cliche to say an equal...but, and equal! A contemporary. She treats me as if I am simply just another person on the planet to meet and get to know and share a little bit of ourselves with, screw all the pretentions.

Hildred, you are truly a gift to me. And yeah, I might not have met you if it weren't for the sticks and the strings.

4. Comment and let me know when you post this in your blog so I can read them all.



Anonymous said...

A friend of mine asked me the first question on her blog recently [although not meme related.] I'll add the other parts in another answer tomorrow likely. It was really touching to read your answers!

Scoutj said...

Thank you for doing this.

Gray said...

I almost skipped over this entry but I'm glad I didn't. This was a really interesting one. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hildred turned me on to your blog and I've been visiting you whenever I can. Thanks for your thought-provoking insights and your honesty. I concur with you. I met you and Hildred at the same time when we all joined our LYS. I've moved and miss it immensely and think it is very well worth the 30 minute drive for me to get back into it. Hildred is an inspiring woman to me as well. I'm so glad you shared.

Anonymous said...

Your greatgrandma and grandma came to CA for a visit and we all went to Solvang. Both of them knitted and probably got you interested during the visit. Yes, I showed you how to cast on. What I remember most about the Solvang trip was you finding "Pee" & "Wee" at the bottom of the soup bowl!!!

Hannah said...

A great post--which, like Gray, I almost skipped because I am not much of a meme person. Thanks!