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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Something Soothing about the colors and feel of Yarn

There is something so soothing and comforting to me now when I look at yarn, purchase yarn, or hold the yarn in my hands. I didn't always feel this way at all. I recently had a birthday two weeks ago and I turned 38. I'd like to believe that this isn't due to my age but more to the maturity and being able to enjoy the finer things in life. I couldn't just be getting old ? Could I? sigh.

I'll go ahead and settle myself with the thoughts that as we age we appreciate the time it takes to actually learn a new skill, the time it takes to craft something into a fine piece of treasure, and the time it takes to put together something that comes from within ourselves and learn to express it to put it into something that we can use !

I used to wonder why in the world my Mother, My Grandmother, and Aunts would get so excited to venture to the yarn store, craft stores, or fabric store to pick up supplies to begin making something that they wanted too. Something that they came up with in their mind, and could craft it together with their hands, to make something that everyone could use. My Grandmother on my Stepdad's side of the family was an amazingly talented woman. She was from Russia and come to America when her parents decided it was time to move to the promise land. My Grandmother learned to knit from her mother. My grandmother was able to knit, crochet anything and everything. Things that I remember seeing when we'd go to her home for a visit was , hand knitted doilies- these are placed on table tops and dressers to make them pretty, feminine and to make sure the wood wasn't ruined. There was knitted edged guest towels in the bathrooms. My grandmother wore knitted sweaters she made herself, and knitted mittens, hats, scrafs, etc. My grandmother made knitted and crochet edges to pillow cases, to sheets, to the blankets. She always had soft feathery and scrumptions throw blankets on her sofa's and chairs. So while sitting down to tea in the afternoon (which was a must) with sweets she baked herself, you could wrap yourself up in these soft comfy blanket throws that were a handmade treasure. Although at that time I had no idea, they were to be treasured . I actually thought that she must be poor to have to make all her things. Little did I know the richness involved in being able to know this little talent and be able to do it so well. I'd give anything now for my Grandmothers talent .

Now my mother, her mother and my mothers sister's were very talented as well. However they always partook in whatever the craft trend was and what was poplular. So we were always surrounded by the crafts of their bounty. I never appreciated these crafts. I always thought it was werid that they made something and thought it was so cool. Now as I've gotten older I too am finding the need to make things with my hands, now I even appreciate it and treasure the talent.

I have always known how to crochet thanks to my mom. I had made a scarf or two. A hat here and there and even made a small lap throw for a grandmother at a nursing home one year at Christmas where I was volunteering. I learned to knit from my now Mother in law. She began to teach me when I was 13 years old. I learned and even made the most adorable baby knit vest for my little sister who was 5 years old at that age and wore it to kindergarten that year. I was a very proud big sister. However as my life moved on I didn't pick up my knitting or crocheting ever again. Even while pregnant , I did not find the need to make baby blankets, sweaters, or hats for my babies. Maybe it was from being uncomfortable and not being able to get comfortable long enough to sit and knit something. I am not jealous of mommies that were smart enough to do this for their babies. However my babies weren't without because my mother made many baby blankets for them, even baby booties, hats, and those no scratch mittens.

Now I am finding that there isn't much greater feeling of accomplishment as making something from my own hands. Whether that being a homemade dinner from scratch that pulls my own family around the table each evening to share it and fill their bellies. Or to sit and knit something for one of them to keep them warm. I just enjoy and appreciate the talents that have been passed down in my family from the women who shaped my soul.

I now am teaching my girls the talents I was taught. I really have to be patient too because I know that the appreciation won't come to them until much later in their lives. I have a daughter that was exactly like me. She will ask me to make her something while at the yarn shop. She picked out yarn the colors of her school colors. She asked me to make her a hat and scarf set , so she could wear it for spirit day. I said sure. I made them, they looked great. Did she like them, no not really. Did she appreciate it? No , she didn't . She actually looked at me like, "It doesn't look like I thought it would, i'd rather have the one at walmart". Now she didn't say that , but I read her body language. I also know because I was that same little girl once. Not any more but I once was. Now my sd is the opposite and I believe she has great skill for making great accomplishments. She has so much patience to sit and knit forever. She loves it and it's like breathing to her. She also learns so easily. I think it's the breed in jean from my Mother in law. haha. I wouldn't be surprised if my stepdaughter isn't making wonderful beautiful sweaters, shawls, purses, bags, etc within 2 years. We'll have to see.

I hope that you can pick up or learn a new skill that let's you create and make something from your own two hands. It is an amazing thing and brings so much pride. There isn't anything like it.

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