Friday, December 31, 2010

My Little Monster

I've been trying for several years to get one of my sisters to learn to knit. To no avail--until last September.

Tommie retired from teaching and since summer was ending and her amazing organic garden wouldn't be needing so much of her attention, she finally agreed to give it a try.

I suggested she start with a wash cloth. She huffed. "Uh uh! I want to make something beautiful that someone can actually wear."

Well, alrighty then!

Forget garter rows on two needles. Forget stockinette even. She wanted her first project to be a cowl for one of her daughters for Christmas. It was already September and I didn't know how things would go, how much time she'd find for knitting, but I wasn't about to discourage such fearlessness.

So we jumped in. She quickly tackled and perfected techniques I didn't even know existed until I had been knitting for years: circular needles, double pointed needles, cable stitches, button holes, and textured stitches in complex patterns.

In less than a week, she finished the cowl and then made another one for her other daughter.

Then honeycomb scarves for her two oldest granddaughters.

Then a lined hat with matching mittens for her grandson--which she also designed by the way.

Then a camouflage tobaggon for her newest granddaughter (to go with the lifetime hunting license of course).

She finished all of her Christmas gifts and jumped right in to a complex aran-patterned afghan for herself. I can only stumble back in awe and stammer, "You go girl!"

A few weeks into the knitting mania, my husband and I were watching TV when the phone rang. We let the answering machine get it and  listened to her talk for a minute or two. It was an urgent request for help; she was almost finished with one project and needed yarn and pattern advice so that she could get started on the next project without a delay. She didn't want to go a day without something on her needles.

I smiled and rubbed my hands together, "My little monster."

My wonderful little knitting ninja monster.