Getting High On Information

I'm not quite sure to start. But maybe that's how it always starts, that you're never too sure how to start. It just, does start. And it always starts awkwardly because you almost always state you're never too sure how to start. Or the rare times it starts with a bang and ends up magnificent and inspired. This is not one of those magically inspired times.

I've come home to Pennsylvania to visit for a while. I was going to school in Ohio, but that didn't pan out so well. I managed to get myself in some deep shit. Maybe I'll go into it later....suffice it to say, that the person who committed a greiveous error will not be giving me back my needles or my yarn. I was teaching the jerk how to knit. It makes me sick to my stomach. More sick than the events that actually took place. I'm sick that I shared something so wonderful with someone so horrible. But I'm not going to dwell. Not right now and not yet.

I'm visiting home with my darling husband, Davey. We're staying with my parents, and mostly enjoying it. I managed to round up almost all of my knitting needles and crochet hooks. I have a rather large collection. An excessively large collection. A lot of them were my grandma Nancy's. She had all the good stuff - the vintage Susan Bates, the Quicksilvers, the no-name brands that hold up amazingly, the Boye needles. Ones made of Luxite, Aluminum, steel, and plastic.

Back in her day, it wasn't about snobbery. It wasn't about having the best needles, the fully interchangable Addi Turbo Sets and the processed bamboo bits or post consumer materials. It wasn't about being trendy. They weren't yarn snobs, it wasn't about having 100% virgin wool from the highest peaks of Peru made from the armpit hair of a 100 year old type of sheep that only lives on the north side of a cliff. It wasn't about that.

It was about creating, and creating beautifully on what you had. It was about providing for your family, keeping them warm, and looking good. You could order patterns via mail for pennies. You could get yarn everywhere, not just specialty stores. Acrylic was just fine.

Because my grandmother was a member of a generation that were some of the most hardcore DIYers I've ever encounter. My grandmother was born in the 1920's in Sicily, Italy. She came over when she was a young woman, and met my grandfather, also from Sicily. My grandfather served in World War 2. While he was over in the Pacific Theater, my grandma was knitting. She was working at the 3M plant and knitting in the time she had to herself. And she was doing it with plain old Susan Bates and no-name Acrylic from a free pattern put out by Bernat. Because back then, free patterns were actually attractive.

Now my grandmother is getting close to her 90's. She can't knit anymore. And you know what? I'm proud to have inherited her needles and her remainder yarn. I'm proud to have her pattern books, her notions, and her gauge swatcher and needle sizer. I'm proud to say I can knit equally as well with Red Heart as I can with Manos Del Uruguay. Because that's one thing my grandma taught me silently.

I remember sitting on my grandma's lap one day when I was seven or eight. She had the needles, and was teaching me to knit. My first swatch was done in a white, pearlescent acrylic yarn, with bits of pink and blue in it, with a metallic binder thread. It was beautiful. Until I got my young hands on it. Then it turned warped. But I kept at it. I worked on it. And I've been knitting ever since. It took me one year to finish my first scarf, and it was done in stockinette stitch, so it curled and wasn't good for anything, but it was mine. And I loved it.

My grandmother didn't just teach me the basics. She taught me, without saying a word, that knitting is truly an art. It is beautiful, no matter how ugly what you produce. It is yours, and yours alone. And in creating something, you put a little bit of your soul into it. It's an extension of you, so you'd better enjoy it.

Ten years to the day when I learned to knit, I took up crochet and determined myself to learn it, which I had avoided like the plauge for years. I just couldn't wrap my mind around it, so to speak with a bad pun. It just didn't work. But I made myself learn. I still can't follow a crochet pattern, but my designs aren't half bad.

So that's what this blog is about - my crafting experiences. A life of crafting inspired by those who have come before me, those who have come after, and those who are surrounding me. Pride, Heritage, and Love are the three components of my works. Throw in a dash of Highly Opinionated Activist, and you've got me.

No comments: