Today is my birthday. Another year has come and gone. Little Wolf is five now, and Tiny Wolf is not so tiny anymore and just turned three. This year was also my 10th wedding anniversary – which also means that in fall it will be 11 years since knitting has re-entered my life. And so I find myself thinking about what knitting means to me.
I’ve spoken before about why it’s good to have a knitter in your family or about what knitting can do for you or help you with. Those are all great general items that ring true for many – but not all of them for every knitter. For me, knitting also has a very personal side to it.
Most knitters will likely first think of all the things they’ve knit for loved ones to keep them warm and comfortable. Knitting is undoubtedly a form of love. Unfortunately, I don’t have many loved ones that would wear knit items. Papa Wolf is required to like everything I make for him (since we are married) – and he does actually enjoy and use most things I’ve made for him over the years. (And utterly destroys them, too. Countless socks have died a swift and brutal death in his shoes.) The wolflings are a different matter. They will basically only wear knit socks now. And even those merely if their feet are cold or they need extra material, so their boots fit better. Or if they want to slip and glide on our laminate floors.
For many knitting is a social activity. However, I don’t have any knitting friends. Knit nights are hard to go to. I need to be home in the evening and get the wolflings to bed at a relatively reasonable time. Knit nights tend to be during the week around these parts. None of the other mothers I regularly hang out with on the playground are knitters or even interested. And I have yet to manage to knit on a playground. Or with Tiny Wolf simply present. She has her ways of thwarting my attempts to knit.
But knitting is my way to relax. Parents know that being a parent is tough and exhausting and sometimes downright horrible – while being wonderful and fun and the best thing that’s ever happened to you. But that’s okay because all of these words also describe growing up, so we’re at least sharing this experience and these emotions. When the wolflings are asleep at the end of the day, knitting is my favorite way to relax. I usually pair it with watching something on Netflix, some Anime with subtitles or Youtube. (My favorite thing there, besides Science-shows: Critical Role. I’m a geek, I know. 🙂 )
Knitting is also an excellent creative outlet for me. Tinkering with stitch patterns and combining them to create a design I like is a lot of fun. As is just trying out new things I haven’t done before or trying stitch patterns on different yarns and seeing what works and what doesn’t.
The likely most important thing for me about knitting is something very personal and dear to me. Knitting is one of my last remaining links to my mother. She taught me how to knit – and a bunch of other crafts, not all of those were fiber related. She was rather handy and also good with tools – and even though she may otherwise have been a traditional housewife, I think I got the notion that girls can do everything just like boys from her. And these crafty things are some of my best memories of her. I don’t remember how she taught me to knit, but I remember sitting next to her happily knitting along with her – me working on a vest for my favorite teddy bear (one she’d sewn for me before I was born) or a dress for a doll and her on a cardigan or something else.
Unfortunately with puberty setting in I stopped all the crafty things I had loved to do before – and so did she. Now, I wish we would have spent more time together – even just crafting in silence. She died only days after my 19th birthday. Another reason why I have to think of her and my early crafting memories today on my 39th birthday.
So today I want to raise my coffee mug and needles to you, Mutti. Thank you for giving birth to me. Thank you for never telling me that I couldn’t do whatever I had decided that time I wanted to do for a living when I grew up. And thank you for teaching me and sharing with me so many things you loved. I miss you.
What does knitting mean to you? Does the craft remind you of someone? What are your earliest crafting memories? Please let me know in the comments below!
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