Thursday, March 16, 2006
I was looking at this photo last night and realized that out of the eleven people in this picture, only three are not wearing hand knit garments.
This was taken at the airport, Halloween Day 1974, the day my family emmigrated to Canada. My sisters and I in red and white knitted coats, my dad, on the left, in his cable knit pullover, and my three cousins in hand knit sweaters too. My sister Sheila in the front, left is also holding a knitted doll called Dumpy Dora.(Thats my mum in the center, auntie above and grandma on the right).
Our Grandma use to knit us a new long coat every winter. She also made us pleated dresses that flaired out when we spun in circles, which of course we did. Between the efforts of our two grandmothers and our Mum, we also had hats, mitts, pullovers, cardigans, dolls, doll clothes and my favorite item was a muff. Remember those? A knitted tube that was hung by a cord around the neck, to put your hands in to keep them warm.
I remember Mum and Grandma, would take us to the park. Whilst we girls played on the swings, they would sit together on a bench with their knitting. I can see them in my memory side by side, nattering away, needles clacking.
Any time we watched TV, there would often be the accompanying sound of knitting needles clickety-clacking, as Mum would always have her knitting on the go. I don't know how she could watch TV and concentrate on knitting at the same time. She wouldn't even be looking down at the needles, and I don't know if she realized that she was counting stitches under her breath.
Sometimes, when we would go out, all us girls in matching coats, we would draw attention. Ladies would come up to us and croon over the craftsmanship. and the time it must have taken. Sometimes total strangers would even give us a bit of spending money because they thought we looked so cute.
When we got older, we didn't want to wear the knits anymore, a sweater perhaps, but not the coats and dresses. The kids at school, here in Canada didn't wear so many knits. Hats or the odd pullover maybe. When I was twelve years old, I thought that matching your sisters wasn't cute anymore, it was ridiculous.
I didn't appreciate the skill and effort that went into making such creations, untill I had children of my own.
I look back now and I realized, we were dressed in love.