Sunday, April 22, 2007


I just spent more than an hour on the phone with my knitting teacher. I feel like I could leap a tall building at a single bound right now.

She is well, she is happy, and was so happy to hear from me. We exchanged addresses, and so I am going to sort out that basement in short order - I need to find suitable photos of the last 15 years or so and share my life with her.

I wasn't planning on taking a road trip any time soon, but now, I just might. She is 77, after all. I do need to see her one more time. And, she comes to Winnipeg on a semi-regular basis. All the more reason to get this house sorted out and get a spare bed. So she can stay with me on her next visit.

I also need to knit her something. Something really special. Not socks. I'm thinking shawl. Something elegant and graceful, in perhaps a deep green or burgundy. She was stunning in those colours long before they became fashionable in the early 1990's. Something to keep her shoulders warm as she sits and works on her own crafts. Something that is a testimonial to my unending love and affection. Something that, every time she puts it on, she will know how much she means to me. It will be the most important knitting project of my entire life.

And speaking of knitting, she remembers very well my first, incredibly awkward attempts. Though I remember it differently, she says that I didn't have a clue. My very first project was a little bell - a Christmas decoration. Something to give me the satisfaction of a finished project, introducing a couple of solid techniques. I cast on, knitted, purled and sewed it up. I still remember going to Woolco to find the little jingle bells to put inside it. I remember coming home from her house that very first night, and sitting at the kitchen table, trying to continue what I had learned. I can't remember if I managed to carry on, or if I just made a mess. I do remember ripping and trying again. I also remember the absolute joy and fascination with the process.

That little bell has two mates, and as far as I know, my former mother and father-in-law still put it on the Christmas tree every year. Even that long ago, I gave away just about everything I made.

This is why I knit. Every stitch I make is in memory of all the knitters before us. The memory, the love, the endless creativity, the magic of sticks and string making something functional and beautiful.

Oh, and teacher? Thanks, and I love you too.

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