10.13.2008

Monday Afternoons

Starting when I was in the second grade, I had a standing date every Monday afternoon. My mom would pick up a car full of my girlfriends and take us over to her friend Kim's house. Kim taught my friends and I how to knit and crochet, for the bargain price of $2.00 per girl, per lesson.

Although Kim lived in a 70's era ranch home with her young family, her living room was reminiscent of a Victorian parlor. We all sat around an ornate wooden coffee table, on a mauve damask sofa or in a powder blue chair, and Kim taught us the art of looping yarn around needles.

We began with crochet, making potholders in each new stitch we learned. Eventually we graduated to an actual project and learned to read patterns.

my first stuffed animal

One of my first projects was this little stuffed lamb. Amazingly, I found this same pattern at a thrift store a few months back. Perhaps another stuffed lamb is in our future.

After we mastered crocheting, or at least grew tired of it, we moved on to knitting. I made several sweaters, including this one for my Cabbage Patch doll.

my first sweater

I just love those little bunny buttons.

Thanks to Kim for the lessons, and thanks to my mom who drove me over to Kim's, paid for my lessons, bought me yarn and needles and helped me work on my projects at home, my Monday afternoons haven't changed much in 25 years.

it's just another manic monday

Rather than a junior Stitch-n-Bitch in a mock Victorian parlor, I now knit quietly by myself, standing at my dining room table, putting down my work every so many stitches to tie a water balloon for my son, or answer phone calls from my daughter's friends. Of course another distinct difference is that I now have to pay for my own yarn and needles - it's a shame Addi Turbos are so much more enjoyable to work with and sooo much more expensive than the good old Susan Bate's needles I grew up with. But oh the peace of mind I derive from knitting and crocheting, and the joy of finishing a project is priceless. And all this, thanks to the women in my life who saw fit to pass on an ancient craft to a new generation.

24 comments:

  1. How great that you still have those things! That's one of the things I love about knitting - the teaching and the learning and the community that surrounds it. Good stuff.

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  2. Love to crochet! And I can't wait to teach my two!

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  3. That's great! I've always wanted to learn, but have no one to teach me!

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  4. I'm reading 'knitting pretty' by and thinking of picking up my grandmas old needles and that ball of red acrylic i have had FOR EVER and giving it a go myself.

    Your post tonight is a like a kind, gentle nudge in that direction. Thanks, Molly.

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  5. i wish i had learned so young.
    i learned b/c my gramma knit christmas stockings for everyone in our family and i wanted that tradition to be carried on. i'm so glad i took the time to learn.

    and see, you can knit sweaters! maybe it's time to try again!

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  6. wow! that you have those first projects is amazing! what a blessing your teacher was. maybe you'll have a room full of students some day.

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  7. I know it's been a long time since I commented on your blog, but this requires a comment:
    I'm glad you have "happy memories" of your childhood. I know it's very late to worry about it, but it is good to know your children remember "good times"!
    Thanks for spending the weekend with us, and I'm looking forward to the next time we're together.
    Love
    Dad

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  8. I found out when I was much older that when my mom was teaching me how to knit (about 7 years old) that I'd knit my little heart out during the day, and then at night she'd rip it all out, reknit it, and I'd start fresh the next day. I LOVE that she did that for me!

    How wonderful that you still have those earliest projects! 25 years later still creating treasures. Beautiful.

    Used to be an Addi girl myself until I discovered Knitpicks.com I assume you know about them, but just in case you haven't, check these out!
    http://www.knitpicks.com/knitting+needles.html?intmedid=HomeSide:Needles_Home_Obsessed

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  9. girl I would scrounge up far more than $2 a lesson if it meant I could soak up your knitting knowledge every Monday! I'm getting kind of board with the dishtowel phase... but I'm scared silly to branch out :-)

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  10. Molly, I'm way too sentimental to handle such a sweet post. I wish I had learned as young as you...what wonderful memories. Your father's comment just about pushed me over the edge. I had those bunny buttons on a dress my mother made for me :) Love, love that you've saved it all. Everywhere I turn I keep being nudged to get out my needles. I think this did it...thanks!

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  11. what a beautiful story. how inspiring. i'm going to have to pass this on to a couple of friends. thank you so much for sharing. and by the way, i love what your dad said.

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  12. i wish i still had some of my first projects!
    and, just how many things are you knitting right now?

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  13. The lamb and sweater are so precious! I just finished my second knitting project, winter hats for my boys...and just ordered a few knitting books. Wish I had started when I was younger, but better late than never.

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  14. a few years back I used to host a "ladies tea" every tuesday night...it was open to all ladies who wanted to learn to cook, crochet, sew or anything else my mother or grandmother taught me.

    I was suprised that they did not have mothers who did these simple crafts...How funny that is was also on tuesday???

    I love it that your mother took you to that class...I feel it is a art that may die off if not passed down.

    ~simply~

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  15. That is so neat. I am teaching myself how to knit right now... with the help of the local yarn shop owner. It is such a rewarding craft.

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  16. Kim was a very good teacher. I'm sorry she's not a part of our lives, she'd love knowing how you feel. It was easier for her to teach you than me, with our right and left hand issues! I'm glad my grandmother (left handed)was patient enough to teach me the art of knitting and crocheting. I second Dad's comment, it's wonderful knowing you had a positive impact on your kids. Is the blue yarn the hat?

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  17. great first projects! good for you never quitting! addi's are rediculously expensive. ** i heart my package!**

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  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  19. What a great Monday afternoon memory! And I am in LOVE, LOVE, LOVE with your flaming six t-shirt!!! What a great shirt for your son! :) (I might want one for me!)

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  20. What a lovely post. I wish I would have had Monday afternoons like that (although I probably would not have appreciated it at the time).

    Happy knitting!
    Tracey

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  21. looks like the mark was indelibly left on your life...i'm sure you'll leave your mark as well. what do you have started there? they all look like fun. i love the variety.

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  22. Yesterday I taught a friend to cast on during an unheard of interlude in which all three children were asleep. I thought of you.

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