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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pulling teeth again

One of my dear departed mother's sayings, about trying to do something just a bit difficult, was that it was like pulling teeth.  No, she wasn't a dentist.  She was a Depression-era child, who never even saw a dentist until she was 14 years old and had saved up her earnings from her job.  Everybody worked, of course.  Anyway, I am so NOT tech savvy, but you may notice another button on the right:  Rebecca Bee Designs Year of Handmade blog prompts!  I want to start at:
1. In the beginning: how did you get into the craft? 
       I've always loved sweaters, whether lacy or cabled or colorful, you name it.  Mom tried to teach all her girls to crochet and knit, and cross-stitch and embroider.  Mostly we were not terribly interested, until the mid-60's when embroidered jeans were way too cool not to have.  But that was a passing fad.  Fast forward to the late 90's -- I was diagnosed with breast cancer, underwent surgery and chemotherapy, and while I was working on surviving I decided that if I could survive this I could do anything I put my mind against.  SO...I looked at sweater making, in either knit or crochet.  It seemed to me that two needles would require a lot more dexterity than I could count on, so I opted to learn crochet first.  I was stuck in the house for about a solid week after each chemo session, and had only the briefest outings to the library, where I picked up every crochet how-to I found in the adult stacks.  For the life of me, I just couldn't get it.  I finally went to the children's section, and found an instruction book aimed at 10-12 year old kids, and that did the trick.  I was off to the races.  I made a couple of sweaters, in acrylic (!!), very heavy (so was I back then--big sweaters for this big gal).  I also made baby blankets, Christmas stockings, ornaments, scarves, hats, etc.  I amassed a large stash of acrylic yarn, some of which is still with me today.  I'm sure it will last way beyond my lifespan.  Then I started reading about natural fibers, and how knitting supposedly used less yarn to cover the same "turf".  And I decided that I really liked knitted sweaters better.  So, back to the library for this self-taught crafter.  Again, I went through several how-to-knit volumes before I found the one that made knitting make sense to me: Debbie Stoller's Stitch 'N Bitch.  Her humor and laid-back attitude helped me "get it", so I will always credit Debbie with being my knitting teacher.  Now I love, love, love to knit.  And it has been helpful to have this satisfying, meditative craft during stressful times, like now when my cancer has come back and I'm moving house. 
       Speaking of moving house, we went back to the crackerbox on Sunday, and collected more of the kitchen.  Unfortunately, we forgot (again!!) to grab the potholders.  But we have good news: our new bedroom suite was delivered today!  and of course, bad news:  they brought the wrong color headboard and the wrong size mattress!  But they're supposed to rectify that tomorrow; meanwhile, we'll be sleeping on a king-sized mattress tonite.  I should be putting my clothes away in my new dresser right now.  Well, I guess I will do just that.

1 comment:

Nin Leavitt said...

Great story about how you got into knitting! Knitting is working one stitch (step) at a time and forces to slow down. You are so right, it is wonderful stressful times.