Monday, April 30, 2012


I often find that knitting connects me.   Knitting connects me to the person who designed and created the pattern I'm using.  If I'm doing some "designing" (in quotes 'cause I'm not a real designer) it connects me to Barbara Walker and her great treasuries of stitches.  If I'm using hand painted yarn, I'm connected to the person who created the wonderful colorway.

I'm always connected to my past when knitting, to my mother and grandmother, who taught me to knit (and some basic crochet stitches).  I learned to form the stitches, follow the pattern, shape the pieces and finish the garment from watching what they had to show me.  In those days (1950 - 60 era) almost every girl learned these skills.   My Mother is the "nana" of Nana's Needles.

 To stay connected to my past, I have saved my mother's old knitting books and needles. It is with great pride that I hang these in my home, appropriately enough in my "sewing and knitting room".  These are such treasures and I'm so glad they all survived so I can own them.
My Mothers Knitting Books and her plastic needles

Yesterday I was connected to myself with knitting.  It is strange that you can re-connect with your own past through knitting, but I did.  In the early and mid 1960's I was in nursing school and due to a midlife  baby for my mother, I had a 3 year old sister at home.  For Christmas one year, I bought yarn and knit the cutest sweater and skirt for her.  It was knit in a blue yarn, probably sport weight and wool.  The skirt was pleated and the sweater was a top down raglan with a cabled yoke.  I sat in my dorm room and knit this in my spare time.  I remember it as if I just knit it yesterday.   When my parents died in the 1990s and we were cleaning out the house I actually found the sweater and skirt + the directions to knit them.  Not being into knitting at the time, I unfortunately threw both in the trash.    

Back to yesterday... I was knitting a pattern on US 4s which called for K3tog at times, which can be very hard to do without sharp points and firm needles.  The bamboos and the acrylics were not getting the job done, so I went hunting in my knitting supplies and look what I found.  A whole set of aluminum size 4 doublepoints!  You can tell from the package that these must be old.  I wonder what I paid for them in the mid 1960s.   

US size 4 Princess Aluminum Knitting Needles

I immediately remembered using these to knit the sleeves of my toddler sister's blue top down raglan sweater.  What a find!  Imagine these needles have been moved from North Carolina to Louisiana to Tennessee to Missouri to Kansas and now in Colorado.  I was thrilled to find them, and guess what? They worked perfectly for the knitting plus they connected me to my younger self, simpler times and days gone by.  I wish everyone could have such connections!

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