Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I Wish I Could Knit

Wait! Don't get me wrong. I learned to knit a zillion years ago when I was seven. My mom said that it wasn't good to sit with idle hands and taught me the fine art of knit one, purl one and all the magical combinations of those two stitches.

Over the years we knitted, my mom and I. Sweaters, afghans; fancy and plain. It was then I learned the secret that you are NEVER to make a sweater for your boyfriend. Something about that combination ruins the relationship and the guy walks off with the knitted item and you are left holding the extra buttons.

After I was safely married, I knitted for my husband and I knitted for my three kids. Even though, in their hearts, I'm sure they wanted to wear sweatshirts, they put on my cardigans and kissed me good bye as they walked out the door.

Then my son got married and soon they were expecting their first child.

I couldn't wait to begin knitting again. Little baby stuff...booties, caps, sweaters...I couldn't wait. But, of course, you know that you NEVER knit or buy anything for a baby until he/she is born. NEVER.

While speaking to two of my best friends, I learned that they too were going to be bubbies (grandmothers) and all three babies were due the last week in June. Yahooo now this was going to be really fun. I told them that I was itching to start knitting baby stuff and one of the women said, "Go ahead, I would love to have a hand made sweater for the baby."

I answered, "What about the eyin ha ra (the evil eye) tfu tfu tfu?"

She said, "Ok, so don't finish anything until the baby is born. Leave off a button or weave the cut off yarn into the edges later when the baby is born."

Eureka!!! Like the wisdom of Solomon, my problem was solved.

I went to my favourite knit shop on King George Street, next to my mom's apartment, and bought all kinds of sweet baby yarn. Neutral colours since no one knew if we were having boys or girls. I ran to my computer and started looking up 'free patterns to knit for baby' on the internet. I still have loads of pattern books in my closet, but this was going to be for my new baby and I needed the newest and best patterns to choose from.

And I started knitting. How sweet. Little baby stuff. And how easy. In a day or two the item was done and in a week the matching blanket was ready to be put together.

Then my oldest son called me and told me that he was called up and had to report to his base...somewhere...they never tell you anything, these kids. At the time my youngest son was regular army and his base was hours away by bus or train. Okay, I thought, now I have two of them in uniform.

I phoned my daughter-in-law and promised that I would stay close and that she didn't have to worry. She still had a month yet before her due date and we had time. I asked her if she wanted to move in with us, but she decided to stay in her own place. We live about ten minutes away from each other and are really close, which is so special and so nice.

The intifada was in full swing and Jerusalem was being bombed weekly and sometimes daily. The army went into action and my son and his friends were sent into Shechem (Nablus) of the most dangerous cities in Israel.

I knitted. And I knitted. By the time I was finished I had one hundred and fifty baby sweaters, blankets, booties, and caps. I enlisted my mom, who was seventy-seven at the time and her job was to make the hand made buttons and to put the things together. I didn't have the patience for that part. Soon Ma was knitting along with me. She made the fancy stuff...lion sweaters with full manes, and giraffes, and monkeys and the sweetest elephant sweater where one sleeve was the trunk. We knitted.

By the time my son was released we had two suitcases filled with stuff and in the five years since we haven't had to buy one baby gift! We are down to the last twenty sweaters.

But since then I can't seem to knit any more. I wish I could. Sitting in front of the T.V. with the gentle clicking of the needles used to be so calming.

Instead I eat pop corn.

I wish I could knit.

Have a great day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in.


At 3:27 AM, Anonymous donnamaryann said...

I, too, miss knitting. I also miss that gorgeous teal mohair sweater I gave to Bary Nunn. VANISHED
but I don't miss track

At 10:08 AM, Anonymous John Little said...

Another great story. My smile muscles are getting exercise this morning.

At 12:49 PM, Anonymous Ess said...

I have tried to knit, never quite got the hang of it..Once when my daughter was 5 and needed an operation to correct her squint I took some wool into the hospital with me,with the intention of knitting her a little sweater..I swear I followed the pattern religiously but ended up with a sleevless sweater for me!!

At 8:19 PM, Anonymous Katherine said...

While I was pregnant I begn a scarf project knitting some here and there whenever I had the time or impulse. By the time my daughter was born I had a 6' $150 mohair monstrousity. I'd picked up so many stitches it was horribly uneven, stretched and ridiculous. There was also no way I could throw it out. After all I'd spent months making it. So I gave it to Michael to wear skiing. Luckily for Maia, Marallyn and Bubi were busy making the most beautiful and delightful bonnets,scarves, blankets and sweaters all of which she wore and we truly treasure. Thanks Marallyn (and Bubi) for the gifts you created with your love and time.


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