Tuesday, September 16, 2008

no, thank you

My mom and I were just talking about this a couple of weeks ago…She asked me what some of my earliest childhood memories were…She knows I have a horrible memory and that's why I write everything down, In one of my earliest memories, I couldn't have been much older than 2 or 3. We used to color at the dining room table – me, my sister and my mom…Each with our own coloring book and a box of 64 crayolas to share between the three of us.

Inevitably, my sister and I would always stop coloring to watch mom, our artist mom, color and shade and outline and turn a picture of strawberry shortcake into a masterpiece. We would stop and jealously stare at her work of art, wishing we were older, so we could color like mom.

As we grew there were always crafts and art projects taking place around our house. My dad would hold coloring contests and award a prize to the one who colored in the lines the best – or sometimes the most creative one who colored outside of the lines best would win.

My dad is not really very artistic, but one thing he does love on occasion is a paint by number. They take little creativity, yet yield the same results, a masterpiece of sorts – simply using water. He is not creative, but he loved and valued my creative mother and the love she handed down to us, her children, to be inspired - to create.

As we grew up, our creative tastes grew with us. I think it must have been in high school, or maybe college when my mom taught me to crochet. I was a scarf queen. Friends and I used to sit around on Sunday nights, watching tv and crocheting together…it was relaxing, it was fun to have something home-made to boast when you were finished. I dreamed of owning a little shop where me and all my friends could sell our wears…

But soon, crocheting lost it’s draw for me and I was back to mom, asking her to teach me to knit.

When we were young, she used to knit us the cutest little sweaters, but for some reason she hadn’t picked up knitting needles for years. I think life got to her and without little ones to make things for, she put knitting on hold for other things, like needlepoint and painting.

But the night I asked her to teach me to knit, it all came back to her like a flood, and she picked it up again like getting back on a bicycle after of years of not riding.

I started with scarves, blankets – easy rectangles and squares. Then moved on to shrugs and baby booties for friends. Fingerless gloves in mohair were a favorite too. The concentration balanced with the creativity has taken me far in terms of stress-relief and getting through chilly football season! In my desire to make some extra cash, i set up shop at a craft show once, made a hundred bucks I think, I was happy.

I sold scarves and baby booties at a garage sale we held last summer. I liked seeing little feet in little socks, my socks. It was gratifying.

I have made one sweater that left much to be desired.

Knitting can be an expensive art that I often don’t have the funds for, but on occasion my mom sees that I’m not working on a project and we go, like little kids in a candy store, to our favorite yarn shop, and pick projects, patterns and yarn, then spend long leisurely Saturday afternoons together rolling yarn balls, casting off, finding gauges and starting projects.

Right now I am not knitting anything. I am finishing up a crochet blanket I started two years ago. I recently cleaned out my yarn stash, and now want to finish undone projects before moving on. It feels good to start fresh, learn something new…

Last year my mom bought me a sewing machine after months of hinting. - I’ve made one tote bag since…albeit a super-cute one, made out of a vintage table cloth and a sheet from Urban Outfitters…but the ideas are swirling and I’m ready for a winter spent inside, spent creating.

I thank my mom for the creativity that runs in our blood, for the inspiration that her life brings, for going to art school, for the little sweaters that she made us wear when we were young.

1 comments:

Angela Moore said...

This is an awesome post! You have to read The Yarn Harlot by Stephanie Pearl McPhee. I have it if you want to borrow it. Your mom sounds awesome and I'm so excited to learn about your crafting heritage. And the sweater doesn't look THAT bad!

 
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