Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Evolution

I didn't knit a stitch on my Clapotis Sunday night, nor did I even hazard a glance at the Pacific Islands stole. As a matter of fact, there hasn't been much round here in the way of knitting, as I had choir practice last night. The only knitting has been on my Landscape Fire socks, during my morning commute.
Nice, huh? I love these socks... I just tried them on, and I sort of wish I'd made them longer, so I could have made a proper knee sock with this fabulous colourway. I certainly don't want any of this yarn to go to waste! But that would have required calf shaping, and math and possibly an abacus...

Since there isn't much going on, I thought we'd take a peek at some pretty neat pictures I stumbled upon recently. These were taken the day I learned to knit.

My parents divorced when I was 3. We lived in Ontario at the time, but when they split, my mother took me back to Quebec, and my Dad stayed in Ontario. Once a month, he'd make the long drive down the dreaded highway of doom, the 401, and pick me up to spend the weekend at my grandparents.

My grandmother was awesome, the kind of grandparent every kid should be blessed with, you know? Whenever we went for a visit, we'd make sure to buy 3 or 4 Mars chocolate bars for her, which she'd stash in her room and polish off during the night. She taught me some of the most important lessons a kid can learn: how to jump on beds without falling off, how to blow bubbles in my gum... and how to knit.

I seem to remember my grandmother knitting most evenings when we stayed over there on weekends. That being said, I don't think I'd venture so far as to call her a Knitter with a capital "K". I think she mostly made the same feather and fan afghan, over and over and over...

I was curious, I guess, and one night she finally taught me to knit. We used her trusty Aero 8's (which I still own and use to this day), some of her tried and true Baycrest Acrylic, God bless and keep her, and wow...it was HARD!!!

All this fidgetting around with friggin' needles that felt as though they were metres long, stitches that kept falling off, yarn that I didn't know what the heck to do with... Tough, tough, tough, and I was absolutely devastated that by the end of that first evening, I didn't have my OWN Baycrest Acrylic feather and fan afghan well on it's way.

Every time we'd go to my grandparents for the weekend, Gramma would pull out the needles, and eventually knitting became our routine in the evenings. After dinner, my Dad and grandfather would chat, and all you'd hear would be their mumblings and the clickety-click-click of my grandmother and my knitting needles, as we silently worked on our masterpieces.

She died in August of 1987, I had just turned 11. Knitting and I went our separate ways for a while after that. I started to fly to my Dad's every month shortly thereafter, so we didn't spend the weekends at my grandparents anymore.

As I said, I don't think of Gramma as a Knitter. But I often wonder what she'd think of how knitting has become such an important part of my life. I like to think she'd get a hoot out of the blog, that she'd admire my accomplishments, that she'd slip some yarn money in my purse when I wasn't looking...

The most important thing, I suppose, is that I think of her. In a way, I guess you could say this blog is her legacy.

Happy Knitting Everyone!

8 comments:

Alrischa said...

Haha! Look at that bottom lip! Did you ever make your afghan, then?

Sereknitty said...

Oh my, you were gorgeous already way back when! I loved this post because it reminded me that my grandma taught me how to knit when I was six, but I didn't really get excited about it until after she passed away 4 years ago. Then, it felt like a way to connect with her, even though she was no longer here.

kate-the-enabler said...

What an absolutely lovely tribute. I'm sure you're right, she'd be proud and amused :)

birana said...

It's a very nice "story". You grand-ma, even if she was not a great knitter, was certainly a very nice grand-ma and that's exactly what you needed at that time. You were so cute trying to knit and making expressive faces with your needles! I have to my grand-ma needles and some left over yarn that I keep for my self as souvenir.

Dad said...

I can see her running her hands through her short cropped grey hair shaking her head, hear her incredulous "Hah!" followed by the all-too familiar "spit and shit" - her smile said it all - she loved you and was confirmed by the time she spent loving you. And today I miss you both. Love Me.

Sinéad said...

Well what a cutie patootie you were! plus, your Dad's comment brought tears to my eyes.

jeloca said...

I'd love to see how you use an abacus to calculate calf shaping!

What a beautiful tribute to your grandmother!

p.s. LOVE the nightgown! :) I think I had one similar...only with a kitten on the front.

Knit and Purl Mama said...

Love the nightgown too...!

I also learned how to knit from my grandmother. I think it's something very special.

Loving your regia socks!