I learned to knit the day my grandmother passed away. In the aftermath of her last breath, the minutes were filled with tears and tissues, phone calls and comfort food. A house that was full of family and friends eventually emptied out, and the time ticked by in slow motion. Memories were everywhere, and the hurt was too fresh to think straight.
Aunt Pat pulled out her bag of needles and yarn, the rhythmic tapping comforting and relaxing. It was something to do to calm the nerves and ease the spirits. “Teach me?” I asked.
We went to the porch where my grandmother kept all her knitting supplies. Stacks of yarn in old liquor boxes, and bundles of wooden, plastic, and metal needles of all sizes were piled in a corner. We sifted through her supplies, finding just the right ones for my first project. Within hours, I completed my first pink-and-grey garter stitch scarf.
I was clumsy and thumbsy, my tears slick on the knitting needles. Dropped stitches littered the scarf, but the continuous click of the needles brought me peace. My grandmother was gone, but even in her absence, I’d found something we could share. She used those exact needles, and I would continue on in her memory.
I started the next project immediately, not quite confident enough to take on a hat or mittens. I opted to design my own scarf made from scraps of yarn left over from her other projects. Each row was a memory of an afghan or blanket my grandmother lovingly put together. Eventually, the tears were replaced with laughter as Aunt Pat showed me how to add a new yarn or make a new stitch, and we reminisced about happier times.
I’ve made other scarves, and hats, and booties – and plenty of baby blankets – but my favorite piece will always be the scrap scarf. It’s more than just a cozy neck warmer knit in jewel-toned yarn; it’s rows and rows of memories.
Note: This post is an entry in the Story Behind Your First Knitting Project: Blog It to Win it Contest.
Eddie the Elephant T0067; Blueprint Crochet Book Kit T1085-1084-Grouped; Back to Basics Quilt with Fabric Kit T2093; LoveSewing Basic Kit T0057; Craft Tree Kid 12SW19