I started knitting about ten years ago. I needed to. My boyfriend of five years had dumped me, my mother had passed away, I didn't have a clue what I was going to do with my life, I was broke and most of all, I was desperate. Knitting seemed the most logical hobby for me to take up. It wouldn't cost me any money and it would allow me to continue sitting on my couch feeling sorry for myself while being somewhat productive. How was the expensive, money draining hobby of knitting free you ask?
You see, my mother was a crafter. She was much worse than I was. Not only an amazing knitter, she was also a cross stitcher, a dress maker, a wreath creator, a cook, and an interior designer. So on a post break-up trip to my father's house, I snuck away with some yellow yarn and a few sets of needles. Once I arrived back to my Boston cocoon, I fired up the ole desktop computer and dialed-up the interweb and searched for knitting instructions. I imitated what I saw in the images and tried to make sense of this new language. What resulted was a wonky and holey rectangle that I proudly sewed up into a purse. Despite the fact it was hard and I was impossibly terrible at it, I stuck with it. My ex-boyfriend got a ginormous hat that looked ridiculous and my siblings got huge mittens that looked more like oven mitts. To me it didn't matter, it was the one thing that took my mind off everything. And I have my mother to thank.
I would not have become a knitter if my mother hadn't passed away. I also would not have become a teacher. It was more important that I become my own person and do my own thing than it was for me to get out of my own way and do what I loved. If she were alive, I wouldn't have been able to swallow my pride and accept what she (and countless others) had told me all along.
While I was at my dad's house this weekend, we continued on the sorting and clearing journey of my childhood home. This time, my goal was wrapping paper (that is a whole other story), but it grew in to other miscellaneous items in that area of the attic. I came across some of my mom's unfinished cross stitch templates. They are amazing, something that I could never imagine having the desire nor the patience to even consider doing. I grew up with many of them framed throughout our house, but never paid them any mind. Now that I am an adult and a crafter, I have a much better realization of what they entailed. They are intricate and detailed and painstakingly beautiful. And they are a prefect reminder of the bridge that my mother and I continue to share.
Post Edit: It turns out that the Clown Bear cross stitch was completed by my sister with a little help from my mom, she clearly has more patience than I ever will!