Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Red Needle

My grandmother and my mother were both knitters.

My grandmother gave up when my grandfather retired and complained about the clicking needles.

My mother taught me to knit on red needles when I was 9 – I knit scarves for Teddy Edward.


My first ‘big’ project was a sleeping bag for my doll. My mother taught me to read a pattern and how to shape by decreasing stitches. As the knitting finished she taught me to sew it together and fix in the zip – it was perfect.

I didn’t see my mother again for five years. I continued to knit and sew – making my own school skirts as my father wouldn’t buy me the fashionable ones I wanted so I made my own. After about five years my mother got in touch – she had found herself a rich man and was living a lifestyle so far removed from my own that it was like watching a film – she was still knitting.

For the next 15 years my mother flitted in and out of my life – with her knitting – complex mohair jumpers and intricate cables. She stopped knitting after flying home on Concorde knitting all the way and managed to get a frozen shoulder.

Two years ago my mother was sorting out her house – clearing out years of buying too much stuff – cloths, shoes, handbags, ornaments. She asked me to look after her knitting bag for a couple of weeks so it didn’t get cleared out with all the junk.

For two years now my Mother has been missing – I don’t know where she is. She did some appalling things before she left and I’m not sure I can ever forgive her for leaving – not this time.

I have never knit cables – last night I thought I'd have a go – I hunted for a cable needle in my things and in my grandmothers sewing box and couldn’t find one. Then I remembered my mothers knitting bag. I got it down from the top of the wardrobe opened it up – right on top was a familiar looking green needle box – opening it I found a couple of cable needles. As I was going to push it back in the bag I saw a flash of red………………………




This is one of the needles I learnt to knit with. 

My mother used to take her knitting all over the world..........she always had my first knitting needle with her. 

Her knitting bag is back on top of the wardrobe and now I have one of her needles in my knitting bag.

2 comments:

Aussie Stitcher said...

That is an amazing story. {{{HUGS}}}

Kelly H said...

Oh my gosh...what a story, Samantha.