A Christmas Miracle: My Close-Knit Familycomments (15) January 16th, 2009
Truly, if I didn't see it with my own eyes, I would never have believed it. For years my family has watched me knit, received handknit gifts, and openly wondered why I would ever make what I could (more quickly) buy? A few years ago I began to notice a shift in their attitudes via certain commissions: My sister requested a yellow mohair scarf, my brother-in-law a black wool muffler, and my niece anything in her school colors. But nothing foretold or prepared me for the big DIY shock of Christmas 2008. As my family gathered around the tree on Christmas Eve (yes, we are one of those early unwrapping families) opening up their handmade presents, I watched with my crafter's pride as they instantly snuggled up to their new gifts. Then I was jolted out of my DIY reverie when they ALL turned to me and asked me if I would please teach them how to knit!?! Wha...? Were they serious? Yes. My brother-in-law, who happens to be a police officer, put it very well: "Kayla, the economy's tanking, people want scarves and blankets—we should make them."
And so, just like a Rockwell painting, my formerly Hopper-esque family gathered around the fireplace to learn how to knit. I supplied the needles and yarn (and checked my enthusiasm lest it frighten them away). It was actually a riot to act as teacher to my own family, and in addition to the pleasures of learning something new and useful, several other benefits surfaced after a few hours of stitching. As they all struggled with casting on, and that always difficult first row, my relatives discovered a renewed reverance and respect for my own knitting skills and patience. And in just a few hours, I dramatically increased the chances of opening a handmade gift presented by one of my own relatives! Best of all, the memory of my whole family gathered around with knitting needles and excitedly talking about what they hoped to make (while the brand-new Wii and Xbox360 remained unopened!) was the best gift that I have ever received.