Saturday, 17 May 2014

Day 6 "Write about a knitter or crocheter you admire"

My first thought - Elizabeth Zimmernan!  It would have to be her.  Wonderful elegant writing style, serious commentary on knitting, innovative designer and loads of practical knitting advice (did you notice I put style at the top of my list? Significant? No?)

But that would be a thesis not a blog post and toady is a special family day.  The day in the year when my brother and I with our spouses spend the day together, eating a good lunch, wandering some London gallery and end the day at the Theatre.  We meet at many other occasions, with some or all of the seven children, their partners and four grandchildren but this special day is for the four of us, all our birthday and Christmas presents rolled into one.

This year, the first meeting after our father's death I thought of our mother, who died more than four years ago, and her knitting.  She was not an artistic knitter, nor like many of us today did she seek out special designer patterns or indie dyed yarn, her craft was simply practical.  She knitted warm, easy care hats, gloves and sweaters to keep us warm. And she knitted all the time, by the fireside, visiting friends for afternoon tea, in the car (she once eccentrically said the problem with driving herself was you could not knit at the same time) and even on the beach

If I had it, the photograph I would post today is a family group on the beach in about 1960.  We were holidaying a small hotel in Poole in Dorset where we met and became friends with a couple of other guests, a lady and her daughter.  We were all on the beach, my brother, the girl and I making sandcastles with Dad and mum and the lady sitting close by on deck chairs, mum was knitting.  Along came the beach photographer snapping away.  He pointed his camera at our group and said the fatal words...

"Perfect, perfect! No, KEEP KNITTING GRANNY'

My mother was outraged, her hair, like mine had gone white in her 30s but otherwise she never looked her age, in her sixties she looked ten years younger.  But the phrased entered the family lexicon.  Whenever she looked in the mirror and felt she looked tired or her hair was a mess (rarely) mum would exclaim "oh! Keep knitting granny!

I wish I had that photograph still.




johnnyjumpsup said...

Lovely post. It brought back memories for me of when as a famiy we stayed in a guest house in Poole and made friends with some of the other guests staying there. We'd often sit in the garden of the guest house playing cards of an evening.

I also still have photographs taken by the beach photographer from other holidays we went on.

Anita said...

Oh my, people see white or grey hair and get an impression don't they? Just 2 weeks ago I attended a Konga class (almost like zumba) and a couple of young mums looked at me and said 'now if you can't do the steps just go as slow as you want, don't puff yourself out'....I was quietly outraged, but have been doing gym 5 days a week for almost a year, just not on that morning. Well I'm happy to say I went full steam ahead and blew them off!!! lol. They couldn't keep up and at the end of the session they asked if I'd done Konga before and I very happily told them yes!!! lol Up the mighty grey hair!!! Cheers, Anita.