For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a maker, a crafter. I sewed dresses for dolls, cross stitched bookmarks and made friendship bracelets with threads taped to my knee on long car rides. As I became a Mama, I made things differently, crafted more. I knit with a babe on my breast, I sewed with a babe in a sling, I drew while my babes slept. Finished projects, once I became a Mama, came at the cost of dishes piling, laundry stacking, sleep evaporating. Because I value the work, the process, and the product, it was always alright. Most of the time. To be honest, I can think of whisper-swearing my way through laundry’s put-away with a head lamp near midnight just the other day since the afternoon had cultivated holiday gift making.
As our girls grow, I watch as they watch me. Sometimes it’s hard to make time, to get up from a project and do what needs to be done for the home only to wish I was still at it. I’m trying to be a better model for them. As our girls turn that corner from baby to little girl, I hold my breath at what they’re capable of. It’s astounding.
I believe it’s so important for the just-learning-to-write/read child to work with their fingers. Holding a needle today is holding tomorrow’s ink. I really believe fine writing follows. Fiber work is so important. The girls and I are doing a lot of it together now, and it makes my heart swoon. There’s felt animals and finger knitted leashes all over our house and I couldn’t be happier.
The other day at the thrift store, we found a $1 pink ring and a packet of cross stitch squares for $.75. In a shoebox at closet’s top shelf, we found my childhood embroidery kit with tangles of yarn, unfinished friendship bracelets, needles and thimbles. Lucy was over the moon. She immediately got a pencil and drew a girl outline on the cloth. As she worked, she drew more detail before threading the needle. I loved her process, her thought.
She was unstoppable, a bit like me when I walk the house with a skein in my hoodie pocket, walking and knitting all the while in the zone. I can’t explain how good it feels to see so much of me inside her.
Hours passed, and she spoke of grass and clouds and all the other ones she’d make soon. She wants to enter this one in the Fair, once it’s finished of course. I think she’s on to something, and it feels good to know this work makes her happy, this work is because of me and all I’ve done around her since I carried her in my tummy.
If we give them time, materials, and space, it’s amazing what our babes can create.
I’m a thoughtful knitter. I always know the recipient before the project starts. I think of the individual or cause the entire time I’m knitting, imagining their joy in the item. I love how the yarn slips through my fingers as it stacks upon itself to completion. And I’m a bit broken hearted if the item doesn’t fit, or if the item isn’t well received. It’s why I could never, ever mass produce and sell my knitted goods. My heart would hurt if I sent them to strangers far, far away. Strange, I know.
I knit a swatch gauge, I stopped along the way to measure. Somehow, somewhere the hat got out of whack. It’s a pattern I’ve memorized, knit dozens of times. And now, giving it to someone else almost feels like cheating. Here’s a hat I knit with someone else in mind. I hope you like it. Drastic, I know. This one just took so long, let’s hope I find the right one to pass it along to.
joining Ginny for yarn along.