I feel like sharing a good ole knitting story today. My husband would argue that there’s no such thing, but we know otherwise 🙂

Both of my grandmothers knit, so I learned from both of them over the years. I think I made a Barbie scarf when I was six. My paternal grandmother, Grandma Betty, used to be disgusted with the way I held my needles. To the point of slapping my hands! I do admit that I had a tendency to kind of claw the needles as though I had meat hooks for hands. This disgust continued through my twenties when I finally went to her for my purl lesson (yes, it took that long).

A friend of mine from work, Michael, mentioned that he’d always wanted to learn how to knit. I told him I could knit and he asked if I would show him. “No”, I said, “but Grandma Betty can!” Poor Grandma Betty. I gave her no warning. I just told her a friend was coming and we wanted a lesson. She spent the entire lesson trying to boost Michael’s knitting self-esteem by telling him, “lots of men knit during the war, so it’s really not that unusual”. She also spent a lot of time admiring the way he held his needles and slapping admonishing me for the way I held mine. I think she was quite ashamed that a man could catch on as quickly as that and her poor, pathetic granddaughter would just never get it! (She never once mentioned my lovely tension, just the meathooks).

Well, Grandma…you should see me now! I have graduated from scarves and am knitting all kinds of things. Socks, hats, mittens, colourwork, lace – you name it, I’ll try it. Although, when I go to my knitting group, I find myself embarrassed about the way I’m pawing on the needles. One day I had a band-aid on the end of one of my fingers and it was really slowing me down so I decided to take care of this little problem by finally forcing myself to hold my needles “properly”. For whatever reason, the only way I felt comfortable was by going “continental”. I never thought I’d be that type of girl but I am and I’m proud. It’s made everything easier and faster (especially colourwork). It’s really changed the way I feel about knitting (and I loved it to begin with). It may have even reduced my risk of getting carpal tunnel. Who knew switching over from the right to the left would be such a breakthrough. I’m telling everyone I know and, really only getting blank stares back. Stares that say, “I’m going to listen politely but I’m really not sure why this girl is telling me this. Oh my, she really seems excited. Should I be this excited for her? I don’t know if I can fake it.” I don’t care. It’s big, big news for me.

Hopefully Grandma’s smiling down on my hands but I have a feeling her thoughts will be more along the lines of, “Continental? But that’s how Myrtle Witherspoon used to knit. I can’t have my granddaughter knitting like Myrtle Witherspoon, I never really warmed up to that woman”


~ by maknitobamomma on November 6, 2010.

One Response to “Knostalgia”

  1. My grandma shared her cooking skills, I hope to share both cooking and knitting with my grandchildren one day….love the family stories, my babies are grown and one starting a family of his own…where did the time go? Your pictures give me the pleasant thought of what’s to come with young children again.
    Wishing you a happy week ahead.

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