Wednesday, March 30, 2016

My Life Can Be Measured in.......

Well definitely: my life can be measured in knitting needles. Since I was 7. My father taught me to knit. He had five older sisters and observed them. He never touched the knitting needles as he taught me, he sat behind my chair and put my hands on the needles and directed them into casting on and plain and purling. I made messy scarves and doll clothes for a few years and at the age of 11 my mother brought me to Skibbereen (we stayed in Sherkin in the summer), took me to a wool-shop and allowed me to choose any colour of wool but only from the big basket that had the big "Sale" sign on it. It was either orange, white or this outrageous shade of green in the basket. I chose the green.

On the strand I worked hard at this jumper sweater pattern in DK wool. At the end of the summer I had this ginormous sweater. This was a good thing, my mother said, as it would warm up anyone coming out of the water from swimming. The freezing Atlantic made one's extremities a horrible mix of white and purple, and this mad jumper would fit anyone no matter the size. And it did. The warmup jumper, they called it. I have a picture somewhere and must find it. You could sit inside it on the sand and it covered you from forehead to toes, like a tent as you shivered your way back to pink only to plunge back into the water again.

I moved on. To making my own patterns and knitting up cardigans, jumpers, even a coat, in intricate aran patterns. In those days I didn't photograph my work, it wasn't considered an art form then but a necessity.

I knit many, many sofa blankets (afghans) as gifts.

One of my greatest joys for a while has been designing one specifically for a loved one, incorporating their lives into it.

This is one I'm working on at the moment for my Grandgirl. You can already see our story in it.

The tree of life with intermingled branches, the diamond for health and happiness linked to the cables for her mother and me, my house, the ferry, a lighthouse, the sea, and the last block I am working on has her love of books and music and coffee.

I have ripped the project out twice previously as I wasn't happy with the framing and gauge of each scene. Now I am thrilled with it.

These are her favourite colours.




27 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I'm surprised you never tried, Ernestine. Why not?

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    1. Thank you E. I'll post another pic when it's finished.

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    1. Sharyn:
      I'm going to do another post on books. And dogs. Though they're have been charming cats as well in my life :)

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  4. How beautiful, and what creativity! I admire it so much. The grandgirl should surely love it. Thanks for posting the picture. Nancy

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    1. Thank you Nancy, I will post a pic of the finished one. :)
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  5. Lucky grandchild as that's lovely and I like the colors, too. You are quite creative and talented with your knitting.

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    1. I love knitting for its many, many benefits, Joared. Like a meditation and good exercise in mathematics too, making all the (often) complex calculations.

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  6. That's lovely.

    Most unusual for a man to teach his daughter to knit. I wish my own father had taught me something so useful!

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    1. My mother was up to her armpits in babies and delegated it to him, kept us both out of her way. I'm sure it never occurred to him by himself, Nick. He also taught me mental arithmetic and crosswords.
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  7. I could measure my life in books also!

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    1. I expect 1,000s Sharyn. I wonder how many I read exactly. I think it is Art Garfunkel who's been keeping a record of his reading since he was 16.

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  8. That is absolutely lovely; the trees look almost like hands, entwined...Your granddaughter will treasure it.

    Elle

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    1. Thank you Elle, yes they do look like hands, I hadn't noticed that before :)

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  9. It's a wonderful skill you have.

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    1. Much like your pottery, thank you Hattie. I think if I wasn't creating something I would go mad.

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  10. What a gorgeous sweater. I hope your granddaughter will always treasure it.

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    1. I'd say she will Linda. I'll have to store it as she is not permanently "homed" yet. Winding up her under - graduate & looking to Europe for her graduate.
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  11. I love your project and as a fellow knitter, I always appreciate it when I meet someone else who knits. (a dying trade). There is some kind of knitting renewal going on though now so I hope the skill won't be lost for ever. I loved reading your story.
    Maggie x

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    1. Thank you Maggie. I love fellow knitters. Check it the Yarn Harlot's blog. Knitting is definitely back.

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  12. That afghan is absolutely beautiful! As a fledgling knitter I am in awe. Looking forward to seeing the finished product. Thank you for sharing this!

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    1. Thanks Jane I will show it off when complete.
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