I recently finished My Grandmother’s Knitting. That sweater on the cover is fabulous, and the main reason I picked up the book. It has me thinking about the history of knitting within my own family. I don’t know of anyone before me who was a knitter. My mother goes through periods where she crochets. My children now play with the two cherished doll afghans that her grandmother crocheted for her. And I guess that’s where she learned the art. I had a great aunt, on the other side of the family, who crocheted me a blanket when I was 6, which I still use to this day. But there are no knitters. At least no one that I know of personally or have been told of. I’m sure that same great-grandmother must have at least known how to knit as well, but there have been no stories or evidence of this in my own life. I’d imagine you wouldn’t have to go back too far in our family tree, especially with our strong Scottish and Irish heritage. It wasn’t that long ago that almost every woman was a knitter. Going forward there is myself, both of my sisters and three out of my five children.
Christmas knitting goes not well at all. This hat was supposed to be a gift. For an adult. Now I’m knitting baby things without even meaning to! I quickly grabbed some supplies to start this new project as we were walking out the door. I failed to pack my measuring tape to check gauge. I also seem to have packed needles a size too small. I could have sworn my pink metal circulars were a size 5…
When I finished knitting this earlier in the week I was much too close to all the work that went into it and I couldn’t see my way through to pulling it all back out. But with the passing of time, I think I’m working up the nerve. I don’t really need this little hat. I do need the gift that it was supposed to be. I would prefer not to buy new yarn.
After this colossal failure, I started in on another top-secret gift as a palate cleanser while I debated my options. It was going wonderfully…beautiful yarn, lovely lacy pattern, row after row of flawless knitting. In passing I kind of questioned the position of one of the button holes, but the whole things was going so well and I just assumed it was integral to the design for reasons that would be clear later. I bound off, late one evening, with great satisfaction at nearly finishing one of my projects and with such beautiful results. I laid it aside with plans for working in ends, sewing buttons and blocking in the morning. The first email in my inbox that very next morning was a pattern update correcting the button hole placement. I’m trying not to be bitter. I would have to rip back well over half the project to correct that one button hole. I’m pretty sure it’s going to stay as it is, but oh…it’s going to eat at me.