Sunday, January 10, 2016

A grandmother's legacy

The next morning Mae's
interest in the project
When my nine-year-old granddaughter, Mae, and I had an evening all to ourselves recently, I began to name several activities that we could do together that sounded fun to me: fold origami, draw pictures, play a game, make up stories, knit . . . (I was prepared to continue), she stopped my litany with "KNIT! I want to learn how to knit!"

"Wow, Mae, that's great. Let's go upstairs, find the bin full of yarn and needles and we'll get started." In a few minutes she had chosen her yarn and I'd cast on eight stitches for the lesson.

The headband is done and Taryn
awaits her garment
There's a lot to be said for being exactly the right age to learn something.  Within just a few minutes she caught on and became increasingly absorbed in what she determined would become a headband to wear when cross-country skiing.

By the next evening the headband was done, and we'd made a trip to a local craft store to purchase needles and several colors of yarn for the extended trip she and her parents will take together. And. . . she'd begun the scarf for her doll, Taryn.

I couldn't be happier with this turn of events because knitting is something I learned from my grandmother. Granted, my mother was the person who spent many hours picking up my dropped stitches and
Taryn will go into the suitcase
but she'll have her new, warm
scarf on while she travels
diagnosing and repairing other knitting mistakes. But the bug bit me at an early age under the tutelage of my Grandmother Elmendorf who also taught me how to sew. She died in 1945 when I was five years old.

Never have I begun a knitting project without thinking of my grandmother--and the patience she exhibited as she taught me the rudiments of this craft. Granted, I've never knitted anything but hats, mittens, baby blankets and scarves (some of the latter for American troops in Korea in the early '50s at the prompting of Seventeen Magazine), but I do enjoy an occasional foray into the knitters' realm.

I can't think of anything I'm happier about than having begun one of my grandchildren on the knitting path.

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