Flash in the Pan
A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights
Be Still My Heart
by Lee Rowley
I have been teaching my 18-year-old daughter how to knit. This summer I showed her how to cast on and the knit stitch. She diligently set about making and frogging numerous squares and scarves to practice with and then seemed to get bored.
She sent me an email at work telling me she had forgotten how to cast on, so I told her she could check my bookmarks and got to the Knitting Help site and look at the videos.
I got home that night and she asked me to show her how to cast on. She sat busily on the couch casting on and then knitting. It was so wonderful to be sitting on the couch, she at one end and me at the other, parallel knitting. She began taking her knitting to work and when she rode the bus. Be still my heart…
We had spent the afternoon running around, were on the bus heading home. It was getting dark by this time. She usually puts her iPod on to block out the noise on the bus and she did that. Then she whipped out her knitting and proceeded to knit in public, on the bus in near darkness. I wanted to hug her. It was amazing to see something that was passed down to me through my grandmother, my mother, me and now to her.
That night she finished her first garter stitch scarf. It had some little holes, and the edges were a bit in and out, but it was the most beautiful scarf I had ever seen.
Last night she asked me to teach her how to purl. So I had her cast on and knit one row and then showed her how to purl. It took a few repetitions but she got it! I told her that if she alternated her knit and purl rows, she would get the stockinet stitch.
Again she worked away, this time wearing her newly finished scarf while I was on the computer, and then I heard this question: is it supposed to curl up like this? I took a look at her work and it was beautiful. Nice straight, even stitches that curled a bit on the bottom. I almost started to tear up and told her how great it looked. I also told her about using garter stitch borders to keep the curling from happening. We talked about how to tell the difference between knit and purl stitches.
She is getting ready to leave the nest in a few months. This experience with her is one I will now cherish forever. I have gotten to pass along to her the building blocks of knitting. She can add this to her toolbox of other crafting skills and her ever-growing box of life skills. And it is one more connection to knit us together, even as the apron strings are loosened and cut, moving us closer, while at the same time we separate.
Lee Rowley currently lives in Northern California. She is a soon-to-be empty nester coming to terms with that and all its implications.
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