Muscle Memory Knitting

My mother had six sisters, all of whom had various special talents. My Aunts had a tendency to believe they had an obligation to teach me some of their many crafting skills. I was taught to knit by Aunt Helen, the eldest sister of my mother. 

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Aunt Helen was a stickler about the”perfection of work.” If I made a mistake on a project, I had to rip the work back to the stitch before the mistake and make the correction, adding, “This is how you learn to ‘read your work’ so that you can fix it.” Can you imagine how long a piece took to finish? Nevertheless, the lesson is one I embrace with deep appreciation and smile every time I pull a piece apart. 

Charity Eye Opener

As a very young woman, I was ill for about six months with mononucleosis. While still recovering, a 90 yr. old neighbor dropped by to visit. During the visit she asked if I could knit. I answered ‘yes’ because earlier in my life I learned to ‘occupy’ my hands with knitting projects as a dieting strategy because I was a 50-lbs. over-weight teenager! “Good” she said and pulled out a few skeins of yarn and some knitting needles, “Indian babies are cold. I’ll be back next week to pick up baby blankets.” and she left. The lesson of no matter how sick you might be, there is always someone else in greater need and YOU can help is another I incorporate into my ‘living practice.’ I guess you could say that thanks to Reta, I have been creating ‘love notes’ of one kind or another for many years.

I recently decided to return to knitting, making baby hats for the Period of Purple Crying project for a local hospital. I had not knitted since I was 21 yrs. old, but you know me…Rhino principle applies to my belief that, “if you knitted once, you know how to knit.” Not so much! Actually, I wore several yards of yarn thread-bare and smiling while hearing the words of Aunt Helen echo in my memory before the ol’ muscle memory of knitting kicked in.

Cross-wired for Good

My mother taught me to crochet. She is a ‘Talent with a Hook’. I, on the other hand, was quite miserable at reading crochet pattern directions. I’m absolutely convinced the reason is because I started out left-handed and my mother turned me into a right-handed child, so I am convinced this ‘well intentioned’ act cross-wired my brain for good.

I revisited crocheting in my early 20’s and was exceptional at ‘making up’ my own ‘free form’ patterns which were the lynch pin of creativity in the 60’s.

I taught my dear friend, Claudia, to crochet. We spent many happy hours creating hats, scarves and shawls out of cheap ‘rug yarn’ for everyone we knew. We took our handwork out everywhere we went (especially to church and this was well before ‘multi-tasking’ became a popular battle cry of the women’s lib movement and mothering–after all ‘mothering’ has always REQUIRED one be able to multi-task!)

Our motto was, “just one more row. just one more row!” I’m not sure if I insisted she unravel her work to make a correction. May I remind you that the 60’s were riddled with ‘it’s the experience that counts’ mentality. I doubt I mentioned ‘correcting mistakes’ because I was trying very hard to ‘keep an open mind.’

Expanding Muscle Memory 

NO one taught me to combine crochet and knitting. I knew there had to be a way to do it and viola! While it takes a little extra time to go between the two skills, I think it’s well worth the R.O. I. (return on investment). 

Screen Shot 2013-01-12 at 6.07.42 PMImagine my shock and disappointment when I realised that I had NOT discovered a new handwork technique!!!

Hotpink Sack 1 bright

Pink Metallic Treasure Sack with Vintage Pearl Buttons

 Included in this MCatherine Made for You listing:

One of a Kind

Combo Knit and Crochet with Heart Motif

3″ W x 4″ H

Draw string closure with Vintage Pearl Buttons

Hand Wash



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