“…I very much doubt if anything is really new when one works in the prehistoric medium of wool with needles. The products of science and techonology may be new, and some of them are quite horrible, but knitting? In knitting there are ancient possibilities; the earth is enriched with the dust of the millions of knitters who have held wool and needles since the beginning of sheep…One likes to believe that there is memory in the fingers; memory undeveloped, but still alive.”
I adore this passage. It applies to all things, not just knitting. I come from a family of immigrants. Relatively recent…I’m the third generation born in the States. My family was poor and they came here seeking a new life. Italian on one side, German/British on the other. I most clearly identify with my Italian side. This was the family that was most prominent in my life, the most stereotypical and most loving.
They all worked hard. And today, they have generations of successful offspring that speak to their memory. I can’t help but be moved at the power we all have to honor their memory. Some are easier to honor than others. As with most families there are closests full of dust and grim and yuck. However, I feel many of them in my everyday life. But I feel none of them as strong as I do when I’m knitting or cooking. Am I crazy, or is there really some memory speaking to me? I truly feel as though it’s the later.
Another woman in my knitting group, Barbara, gifted me with the book, Mindful Knitting. She had taken up a dishcloth project described in the book. She was knitting with her grandmother’s needles and was careful to honor her grandmother's memory during the process. How cool.
I have a sock darner thingy and some crochet hooks (49 cents a piece the impression on them tells me.) I guess I’ll go darn some socks – man, stupid ancestors and their inability to save cool things!