Embroidery, latch hook, knitting – I learned them all. For some reason I could never get the hang of crocheting, but I loved to knit, and while not as good as my teacher, Aunt Florine, I did a credible job.
Baby booties would have been my first project, and I made several pairs before graduating to men’s argyle socks. I was probably fifteen and had a mad crush on a boy who lived near Florine at the lake. I decided to impress him, a college man, with the gift of hand-knitted socks, but I skipped right over one important step. I didn’t know I was supposed to wrap the yarn around the previous color when starting a new one. As a result, the socks had diamonds outlined with holes, but I am embarrassed to say that, having put in so much work, I sent them anyway with a promise that the second pair would be perfect. As I recall, they were.
In college, many of us would knit in class, but one professor said, “If you drop one of those aluminum needles, you’re done knitting in my class.” In addition to red and white striped mittens with pompoms, and a blue sweater for myself, I made an afghan as a thank-you gift for a family week-end in the Poconos.
When my children were young, I took great delight in making for each a cardigan (Oh, those button holes) with a picture knitted into it: the three bears for one, a clown with balloons for the second, a mother duck and ducklings next, and, finally, for a niece, a mother cat and her kittens. And, yes, I remembered to wrap the new color around the old when switching yarns.
For the next generation, I began knitting baby blankets. I loved the soft feel of the yarn and watching the blanket grow, but I have to admit that I had to find someone else to crochet the edge around each one. However, all such projects came to a screeching halt when, in the middle of a prayer shawl, knitting sent me to the chiropractor with a crick in my neck. I miss the click of the needles and the satisfaction of the finished project, but I’m not ready to risk that pain again.
© Dorothy C. Judd
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