It was about this time of year when I was a kid that we would start packing up the box of Christmas presents to be sent to Vermont. There were presents for my Aunt Gertrude, Uncle Keith, and all six of their sons: Bill, Norman, John, David, Neil, and Roger. Then closer to Christmas, we would receive a big box of presents from them. Usually there were three presents with my name on them. One from my aunt and uncle, one from the older boys, and one from the younger boys, though I am quite certain that it was my aunt who took care of it all.
Guaranteed to be in one of those boxes would be something my aunt had knit—usually a scarf or mittens. When I consider all the gifts that she knit over the years for nieces and nephews, sons, and eventually daughters-in-law, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, I am impressed. I am sorry to say I don’t have any of those precious gifts now, especially one of the pairs of mittens connected by a braided cord. (I always thought that was a great idea for keeping them together. I lose about one mitten or glove a season now).
My mother also knit for me. I remember one sweater in particular—a red one on which she
My first attempts at knitting were less than successful. There were scarves that began as five inches wide, wandered to eight inches, and ended up at three. There was a garter-knit sweater that never quite fit together. Eventually I figured out all the yarn-overs and purls and was able to create something that looked like it was supposed to.
When my nephews were 8 and 9, I decided to make them each a sweater for Christmas. Though they are twins (2 sets) I didn’t want them to be exactly the same, so I made four sweaters of the same pattern but in different colors.
Once I got the hang of it, I enjoyed making things for friends and family, and even a few for myself. I made this sweater when I was in college for a short-lived skiing adventure. Since that time it's been hanging in the front closet.
I found, whether working on these sweaters or a baby blanket for a friend’s baby or a scarf for a relative, I enjoyed creating something for someone else, enjoyed taking the time to think about each of them as I was knitting. I also thought about my aunt and all that knitting she had done. It must have given her great pleasure as she spent all those hours creating something warm for all her many loved ones.
Most recently I have been knitting winter hats for the mitten tree at church. The hats and mittens on the tree will be given to students at Sumner Avenue School. As I watch the first snow fall of the winter outside my window, I am happy that something I have created will be helping those kids stay warm. I am also happy that I am able to use the leftover yarn from those sweaters I knit my nephews all those years ago.
The yarn continues...