Knit one – Pearl one – Knit two ------clickety clack
Hey there dear Lighty friends,
Just in case that first line didn’t make any sense to you – I had better explain. I’m following a knitting pattern – after an extremely long hiatus, I’ve literally turned into a ‘knit wit’ once again lol.
Lately I have felt compelled to resurrect many ancient skills and feminine crafts that had been lovingly and with much patience, taught to me during my youthful years by my dearest grandmother (now deceased) and my mum.
I nostalgically recall, once upon a time, a long, long time ago, being a very young and enthusiastically, devout student of the clever hand crafts of spinning wool, knitting, crochet, embroidery and sewing. Funny, how during the course of time, these skills fell by the wayside in forsake of time convenience, it appears to be so much easier to go a buy a jumper or a dress from a store, rather than sitting for hours following a pattern and assembling it all together.
As a child, my mum made all our clothes. During the summer months, she was always knitting or crocheting a garment for us kids to wear in winter. When she wasn’t knitting, she was at her sewing machine, whipping up smart dresses and beautiful seasonal outfits for my sister and me. It was quite common in those days, for brand new homes to have a ‘sewing room’ – it was regarded as a real feature. Mum was a beautiful seamstress and had her own ‘sewing room’ – it was full of all sorts of wondrous things like, a button tin, full of an assortment of different and eclectic buttons, a fabric cupboard, over flowing with a plethora of luxurious material. I would spend hours in there with mum, whilst she was creating one of her wonderful fashion statements. I would methodically and meticulously, cut out and stitch up dresses for all my dolls. As I reflect, I know regard this time as very special – a somewhat feminine bonding period between mother and daughter. Almost like sacred ‘women’s business’. I treasure these unique and precious moments in my life now.
As I was growing up, it was considered par for the course, that when we arrived home from school, we were immediately summoned by mum, to the ‘sewing room’, to relentlessly and begrudgingly endure, endless rounds of fittings and measurements for a brand new outfit she was currently in the process painstakingly creating. I absolutely despised doing this, as I considered it a complete waste of my time. I longed to go to the store and wanted nothing more than to purchase a new dress or cardigan with a label on it lol. It was regarded a bit of a status symbol in those days - to actually wear a store bought garment – quite the luxury item that only the really affluent families could afford. Nearly all the kids I knew, wore clothes that were home made.
You know what Lighty’s??? As I look back, I now realize that women have always been so resourceful, resilient and innovative. We’ve always had the knack of making 1 + 1 into 22. From stretching meager rations during the 1st and 2nd WW’s to the Great Depression, to feed an entire family or making ends meet by recycling clothing. Who remembers how to darn a sock or take up the hem of a dress by hand? Sure, I wore HMD’s (hand me downs) – then the HMD’s became HMD’s for your younger siblings – it was just the ‘done’ thing. A warm coat was a coat and a pair of shoes stopped your feet from getting cold and wet. Didn’t matter whether it was fashionable or not – if it wasn’t worn out, it definitely wasn’t wasted.
I find it rather unfortunate that these handy and practical abilities have almost been lost to the younger generation. I was on the train the other day, on my way to the city. I took my knitting with me to bide my time during the journey. A young girl, approximately 15 years of age was sitting next to me. She was utterly enthralled by what I was doing and was very eager to learn, so I gave her a little impromptu knitting lesson whilst we were travelling together. Once we reached our destination, she happily announced that she would pop into a craft store and purchase some wool and knitting needles and attempt to make herself a scarf. I felt very pleased with myself that I had passed on a skill to her.
I also have to advocate and wax lyrical about the meditative benefits of the feminine handicrafts. There is something particularly pacifying and Zen like in repetitive and dexterous hand movements. It sort of congers up images of a gentler and older era, where women would gather in the drawing rooms around a warm fire over candle light with their crafts, embroidering, spinning wool, playing piano, painting, knitting, crocheting etc etc - not saying much but being completely absorbed in what they were doing, their minds drifting off to other places - quite the relaxing pastime indeed but at the same time - also creative.
I now realize that there is something very special about having received something that has been ‘handmade’. I guess it’s the fact that somebody has taken the time and has placed much thought and consideration into personally creating something especially for you with great love – a real personal treasure that possess much personal value.
In case you are wondering, I’m knitting a babies layette (bonnet, booties and jacket) – I’m going to become a ‘Nanna’ for the first time in the New Year. Oops!!! I’ve just dropped a stitch heehee – I think it must be due to the fact that I’m overcome with joy and gratitude. Knit one – Pearl one – each stitch is created with all my love and happiness. Clickety Clack!!!
Much love and happiness to you all
Been listening to this album whilst I've been click clacking away - INJOY