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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Do You Knit?

Cable, honeycomb, and tree of life stitches in green heather
I just watched a Google+ video on knitters. I was a knitter; I knit a lot of sweaters for my daughter as she was growing up, and sent her to college with a few patterned pull-overs in contrasting colors. I knit a true Irish sweater in deep heather green, with cables of many patterns (pictured here.)  And sometimes I knit sweaters that I wore to school: one was a dark blue with white Fair Isle patterns worked into the sleeves. One year I knit four sweaters with the same fair aisle patterned neckline: a burgundy with navy pullover for Rick; a white with lilac and mint pullover for Trish; a gray with navy and deep green cardigan for me, and a cardigan with pockets (very important for little boys) of navy, burgundy and deep green for Rob. I knit sweaters for my son when he was young. I had a pattern book that my sister Kay had given to me, and which I returned to her. Full books of patterns could be bought in the sixties for a few dollars, and contained cardigans, pull-overs and more in every size imaginable.
Rob, age 5 in an autumn colored Charlie Brown pullover

Most often these sweaters were knit as I sat by the woodstove in the evenings during school vacation weeks - lesson plans and correcting could be put aside then, and for many years, Rick was at work, and Christmas music would be playing on our record player (yes, the old kind where the 33 RPM could play one after the other as they slid down the spindle.) For most of those years, joining a knitters' circle was not an option, as there was always a child sleeping nearby ... Trish in the early years, and Rob later. But it was a peaceful part of my life - one that brought me and others many pleasant memories.

I loved shopping for yarn - sometimes at a bargain store, and later at a sheep farmer's pickup truck in the school parking lot. Much later, I treated myself to some soft, navy-blue Danish yarn bought at a yarn shop in Maine - and made myself some bagpipers knee socks from that yarn. I'd begun making sweaters (and socks, hats, and mittens) for my grandchildren by then. I was working full time, and earning enough that I could buy books of designer patterns (hence, the Hermione cap I made for my granddaughter one Christmas ... along with wizard socks for my grandson.) When I had loosely-wrapped skeins from the sheep farmer, Rick would sit patiently with me, hands wrapped in the skein, as I wound the balls for easy use. Later, Trish or Rob would help me, or if they were tucked in, I would use the arms of the old rocking chair by the stove.

Scandinavian socks I knit but took too long...
I even took the leap and dared to knit Scandinavian Socks - a pair in black, gray and deep burgundy for Trish, and in olive, darker green and red for Rob Here's a photo of Rob's, which he never wore, as I didn't finish them until he'd outgrown them (but I wonder whether he might have worn them  snowboarding, if they'd still fit!)

A few years ago, I gave away all of my unused wool and yarn remnants, as the tremors that have developed with age and multiple sclerosis have made knitting impossible. I continued teaching young knitters after school for a while, but then even had to give that up.I have half a dozen pair of infant and child mittens left in the shop, where I had begun knitting them for sale. They are posted on my web store as well:

My newer venture is now making quilts. I'll write more about that tomorrow.

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  1. This brought back so many memories! Use to do it all. . .knit, crochet, macrame. . .sweaters, scarves, vests, socks. Reading your post makes me want to start again! I never ventured into the quilts but did often think about how grand that would be. I have some of my grandmother's quilts she made by hand.

    BTW I am nominating you for the Liebster Blog Award. I will have it posted some time tonight at Awakenings ( Still working on it. . .

    1. Sharla,
      I'm so glad that this brought back good memories, and maybe will inspire you to knit again ... 'tis the season, after all!
      Thank you so much for the nomination to the Liebster Blog Award - I will post my acceptance and respond to the questions posted at your blog. I'll look through my favorite blogs to find some nominations to offer. Such a nice thing to be invited to do!


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