Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas is. . .

a time to give thanks.
And a time to remember those who are no longer with us. And a time to bake cookies!

And a time to knit socks for someone you love.

Wishing you and yours all the joys of this Christmas season.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Planning Ahead

This is pretty much the extent of my Christmas sewing this year. An elderly patient at work likes fans, and she always brings the staff a gift, so I make her something every year. This is tiny, to hang on her tree.
Mother Nature has been much better at planning ahead than I have. Look at all the snow she's made, and winter doesn't even start for another three days. I don't recall ever having a blanket of snow covering the windows like this before. Interesting phenomenom! She's been making ice as well.

We've all pitched in the shovel this week.

Wishing you a happy weekend.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The knitting bug

(This is a sweater my mom knit for me a good twenty years ago. Didn't she do amazing work?)
Once upon a time there was a remarkable woman named Judith. The people I knew mostly called her "Mom" or "Mrs. Spearing" or "Judy" but her name was Judith, and she liked to be called Judith. One person even called her "Jutsy" which she didn't like at all, but since it was her own mother, she couldn't do much about it.
Judith had many fine talents. She cooked nourishing and delicious meals for her family, she kept the enormous amount of laundry for her family of six under control at all times, she kept the house in good order, worked at the library, wrote stories, and knit the most amazing things. She made sweaters for everyone in the family, as well as hats, mittens, scarves, shawls, and doll clothes. She made LOTS of socks because her husband liked hand knit socks the best.

She also taught Sunday school, was president of the church for two terms, and rose to the occasion admirably when her daughter needed a purple velvet dress to wear to a high school dance.

(This is the latest sock I made for Larry. It only took nine days! But I still have to make the other one, and finish it before Christmas.)

She passed her love of sewing and knitting on to me, one of her four children. When I was about eight, all the girls in the neighborhood decided to learn to knit. "Mrs. Spearing" kindly provided yarn, needles, and endless patient instruction. When we pulled the yarn too tight and the stitches just wouldn't come off the needles, she would knit a row for us to loosen it up so we could continue. When we came to a difficult part she showed us what to do next. We made countless headbands and doll scarves and blankets, and tried a mitten or two. Then summer came and we took ourselves off to the joy of swimming and bike riding, and put aside our knitting. Mom was probably glad to have the time to go back to her story writing.

Many years went by before I knit anything else, but when I was in high school I decided to knit a sweater. A plain navy blue sweater with no designs or stripes or anything at all to relieve the tedium of knitting back and forth, row after row. Mom kindly finished it for me so as not to waste the yarn, when I declared I had never done anything so boring in my life.
Many years later I had a little child who loved to be read aloud to. Everything we read about he wanted to try, or have me try. Knitting was no exception, and when he was about four I made this scarf for him because we'd been reading a book which included something about knitting.
Many more years went by, and then in early 2010 I got bitten by The Knitting Bug. Wow! I have made 15 snowmen, a cat, a pig, two bunnies, four mittens, and five socks. I have neglected my quilting and especially my blogging, but I have found knitting the perfectly PERFECT portable project.
Now I take it when I visit my mom. She can no longer see to knit, and doesn't remember that she taught all the little neighborhood girls how. She often doesn't know who I am, but I sit beside her knitting while she tells me about a past that never happened. Her quietly brilliant mind has let her down, along with her eyes.
Her four children all have good memories of the things she knew and taught us, and we all have hats and sweaters she made for us.