Tuesday, August 9, 2011

In the beginning...

I don’t know who taught me to knit.. the first time. I doubt we even knew we were knitting. What we were doing was creating miles and miles of loopy cord out of cheap acrylic yarn. It’s easy enough to start. Tie a string to your thumb. Now wrap it back and forth through all your fingers, go around the pinky and come back again.. back and forth through each finger. Then wrap the whole thing across the back of your hand and the front again. Now you’re going to want to lift each loop (the small, tight ones) over your finger and the longer loop of yarn to the back of your hand. See how this still leaves a new loop on your finger? Do all four fingers. Wrap the yarn around your whole hand again. Do all four fingers. Repeat…

Eventually you’ll have a really loopy mess hanging from the back of your fingers. But this is where the magic happens! Grab it and pull. BAM! All of a sudden you have an evenly loopy cord. In fact.. it’s I-cord! But I didn’t know that until much, much later.

Grandma taught me to crochet around that time, but it didn’t stick. Oh, I made long chains of yarn with my fingers (just like the finger-knitting, only this time it was crochet loops). And somewhere there is half of a Cabbage-Patch-doll dress in seafoam green acrylic yarn, but search me if I know where. I just didn’t have the patience for it.

It was almost thirty years later when Grandma got a second crack at the whole passing along of the fiber arts. Our family had just moved to Oregon and my father had a conference in Portland. My mother and grandmother came out with him and then drove down to Eugene to spend a week with me. We had a wonderful time driving out to the coast each day and then as far North and South as we could stand to travel in a day and still get home that evening.

Somewhere along the way, dishcloth knitting came out. I don’t recall if Grandma was teaching Mom or had just done so recently. But I wanted in on the action, too. They were able to spare a set of bamboo needles and some Peaches ‘n’ Cream cotton. And a knitter was born.

Just a knitter, tho. Grandma never showed me how to purl.

No comments: