After a harrowing ordeal of untangling a seven yard warp, the heddles are threaded.
I'm going into school for a couple of hours this morning, and then back to sleying
I think this blog is allowing for some introspection that I never usually give
myself time for. I delivered the hooded baby sweater to its recipient and the
two grandmothers were ooing and ahhing. They asked me if my mother knit and
talked about their family members who worked with fibers. It got me thinking
about families and how lucky I am.
There is so much hurt and pain suffered as a result of the families that people
are raised in. My family and childhood was so blissful that I don't think I
realized the magnitude of problems that can occur until I had children and began
observing and talking with other parents. The thought of not wanting to see
your parents or siblings was just so foreign to me. As my husband was transfered
and we moved around, I missed not being able to jump in the car after breakfast
and be at my parents before lunch. And here I was talking with women who lived
10 minutes from their family and made it a point to NOT see them. How does this
fit into a fiber blog? Except for one aunt, no one in my family did anything
in the way of fiber playing. Yet, when this bug hit me at the age of 8 or 9,
my family did everything they could to support me.
My first real fiber present (potholder kits not included) was a Barbie knitting
kit. I got a pair of red plastic needles, yarn, and instructions to make a coat
and pillbox hat (ala Jackie Kennedy). Can you imagine a first time project making
a coat, in pieces, for a skinny (well, not everywhere) doll? I was supposed
to make a tapered set-in sleeve for a first project. After many attempts I was
discouraged, but my mother came home with the green Coats & Clark How to
book, and I was rolling. I never made the coat, but I knitted things, ripped
it apart and knitted more, just to knit. After the yarn was shredded beyond
hope, I found out you could just go to the local 5 and 10 cent store and BUY
MORE!!! That little green book was my only source for a long time. I made hats,
mittens, and learned to crochet from it.
Aroung 10 or 11, I decided I wanted to sew. Dad went out a bought a Singer
treadle machine. He sold and repaired Hoover vacuums, and his salesman told
him to start me on a treadle (can you imagine a 25 year army veteran, turned
vacuum repairman, discussing his daughter's fiber interests?). Then he had it
converted into an electric, ( I know, but didn't know THEN) then upgraded to
a new machine, complete with cams that could do "fancy" stitches.
When my youngest sister married in 1983, my two daughters were flower girls.
I made them dresses to match the bridesmaids and my father was so impressed
with my talent that when he saw the new computerized Viking on the Today show
a week or two after the wedding he called me. Now my father HATED the phone.
When I called from college he
would say, "How are you? Here's your mother". So a phone call from
PA to Michigan was unusual to say the least. He told me to find that machine
and buy it, he would pay for it. Maybe that doesn't sound so extraordinary to
you, but he died a week after I picked up that machine. I never finish anything
early (you know, hemming in the car and the way to the event), but that year
I had a new machine, and all the Halloween costumes (for 4 kids) were done a
week before they were needed. That machine is will be 19 years old this fall,
and I still feel so close to him when I set it up.
This reminiscing started with a comment on ST about different machines, but
really got me on a roll. I was going through old pictures and found a picture
of my father, with one of my first crochet projects. I was very impatient,
and never bothered with gauge. I thought I was going to have a hat for my little
sister and stayed up all night working on it. He got up around 5:30 and we decided
it may be a little TOO big for her. Sort of like the sweater I knitted for my
husband (to-be) which was too big for my 275 pound cousin! As I look back, I
realize that some things stay the same, as others change. I am much more patient
with the sampling, gauging, etc. in fact, that is sometimes as far as I get,
because it's the most fun!! BUT, I'll still stay up to the wee hours if I'm
really into a project. And I'm still the happy recipient of fiber support, only
now it's usually in the form of gift certificates and magazine subscriptions.