Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Knit One, Purl Two
Please welcome with me, guest blogger Terri Wangard.
Knit One, Purl Two
How’m I Doing, Mom?
Janette Oke’s debut series Love Come Softly prompted me to learn how to knit. The women in the stories were prolific knitters, which in their frontier day was necessary. Today we can buy sweaters, scarves, and mittens at any clothing store, but I felt deficient at not knowing this womanly skill.
A craft catalog featured a set of darling knitted snowmen Christmas tree ornaments, and I ordered it. When it arrived, I told my mother either she could teach me to knit, or she’d be knitting them herself. She taught me how. For the past twenty-five years, those little snowmen have decorated my tree.
As I write this on what would have been my mom’s 81st birthday, I remember a lot of her “womanly skills.” I’ll never forget her frustration at not being able to finish the second mitten of a new pair for me before I headed back to school after Christmas break. She’d broken her arm in a fall on ice and couldn’t knit wearing a cast.
She was not only a prolific knitter, she sewed much of my school wardrobe. She helped me learn to sew, too, and while the sewing machine and I never became good friends, I did succeed with simple patterns. After wrestling with the sewing machine and failing to complete a new top I wanted to wear for the first day of college, I headed off to freshman orientation in a blue mood. I returned home to find the top finished and ready to go.
These days I don’t do much sewing or knitting. Any sewing is mostly repair work, if Mom’s vintage Pfaff machine cooperates. It loves to snarl the bobbin thread. I haven’t knitted for so long, I’m not sure I still can. Mom’s not here to straighten out my messes. Even in the years before her death, dementia had robbed her memory of the fine points of knitting.
I wonder now. Did I ever thank her for teaching me?