Give the Gift that Keeps on Giving: Teach Someone to Knit (or _____)

comments (0) December 8th, 2008     

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MichaelaMurphy Michaela Murphy, contributor
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Chris Pendleton learns his way around the skein at the Urban Craft Uprising in Seattle, with friends Lindsey Ross and Katie Stetman of Yarnia, Portland, OR.
Tara Swiger of the awesome Blonde Chicken Boutique (you should see her hand-dyed yarns) teaches Allison Van Sickle how to knit as part of her birthday gift (her other gift is the handspun yarn she is learning to knit).
Chris Pendleton learns his way around the skein at the Urban Craft Uprising in Seattle, with friends Lindsey Ross and Katie Stetman of Yarnia, Portland, OR.

Chris Pendleton learns his way around the skein at the Urban Craft Uprising in Seattle, with friends Lindsey Ross and Katie Stetman of Yarnia, Portland, OR.

Photo: Michaela Murphy

My grandmother taught me how to knit when I was eight years old. I remember the yarn (a purple and brown chunky twist), the HUGE knitting needles, and thinking that I was never going to get them to click, snap, and yield anything remotely like the stuff my grandmother could knit up. But for some reason, I stuck it out. I asked my grandmother to cast on for me (it took me months to figure that out), help me to pick up dropped stitches, and bind off the stitches from the needles when I had finally reached the end of my first hand-knit scarf. Yet the thing I remember most and very dearly is the time that my grandmother spent with me, as her own mother had spent with her. As I get older and find my own solace and creative comfort in the things that I make for those I love, I remember my grandmother and muse on the great gift that she passed on to me.

Yesterday, I was at the Urban Craft Uprising here in Seattle and I saw tons of amazing handcrafted gifts by an incredible group of DIY artists, but one of the very best DIY gifts that I saw there were the many people teaching others how to knit. I was schmoozing with the maker over the gorgeous handspun and hand-dyed yarns over at the Blonde Chicken Boutique booth when Tara Swiger paused for a second to give her friend Allison some encouragement. Allison was sitting there struggling with two enormous needles and a great ball of handspun yarn. Tara had custom spun and dyed this yarn as a birthday gift for Allison with the companion gift of knitting lessons. "It will get easier and easier," Tara told Allison as she grimaced and turned her first rows around and started another.

"It's something I've always wanted to learn and this year I finally made it a point to," said Brenda Huff as she sat alongside the craft show practicing what she had recently learned at her local yarn shop in Bellingham, WA. "I think about all of the cool stuff I am going to be able to make," she said by way of how she is coping with the clumsiness of learning a new skill.  I do think that this is the kind of thing that a kid would pick up quickly."  Huff already plans on passing her new skill onto her teenage daughter once she has a project or two of her own under her belt.

So if you are looking for a terrific way to gift someone special in your life, why not take some time well spent in their company and teach them something very special: teach them how to knit, crochet, embroider, sew...

 

posted in: yarn, knitting lessons

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