A Vase of Old Knitting Needles

12 Jul

As a young child, both my grandmother, who I called Maw Maw, and mother taught me to knit.  I knitted off and on for years but didn’t really get serious about my knitting until about 8 years ago. Since that time, I’ve been knitting constantly.  I try to knit for at least 10-15 minutes every night.  I even take a small knitting bag with me on most days when I leave the house, so that if I get a free minute or two, I can knit.  I guess you could say I’m obsessed about knitting.

It all started when I was a child.   I used to love to watch my Maw Maw knit.  At the time I was just learning to knit, and I remember thinking that her hands were like magic.  I was mesmerized with the speed in which she knitted, and how she never dropped a stitch, and how her stitches were so uniform and perfect.  She had three stackable stools (or ottomans) in her living room near the window, and I would go get one, and bring it over, and sit at the foot of her chair.  I would watch her for what seemed to be hours, although in reality it was probably only 10-15 minutes.  After that I would give it a try with my needles and yarn.  I was never as fast as her and I guess I was somewhat discouraged from time to time about my dropped stitches, my lopsided stitches, and my slow pace.  I’d end up putting my knitting down and would opt for climbing trees or riding bikes with my cousins for the rest of the day.  But, the next day I visited my Maw Maw, the routine of watching her knit and giving it a try myself would start all over.  I don’t think I was ever really good at it until about 8 years ago, when I made up my mind to learn more than just the basic knit, purl, cast-on and bind off.  After all, how many plain scarves can one girl have?

So eight years ago, I decided to try knitting again.  I was intrigued by all the wonderful patterns and thought I should give it another try.  My mother helped refresh my memory of the basics and eventually taught me a few more things, such as k2tog, p2tog, sl, yo, and how to do cables.  My Maw Maw passed away when I was 26 years old.  It’s been 20 years now, but I still think of her all the time and miss her very much.  I think she would be proud of me and my knitting.  I know she would absolutely LOVE going into the LYS around town.  When she was knitting, the only place to buy yarn was Leewards and Kmart.

When I got serious with my knitting, my mother went through her needle collection and gave me a bunch of old needles that belonged to my Maw Maw and herself.  I’ve always kept these needles in a separate bag, so I could remember which needles belonged to my mom and my Maw Maw.  Since I now have a craft room, I decided I wanted to display the knitting needles in some way and still keep them separate from my other needles.  So, I decided to buy an old white vase to keep them in.  I found the perfect vase at an antique store for $6.  I love a bargain!  I got home, washed the vase up and put the needles in it, but it seemed so plain.  Then I decided to use some extra ribbon I had used in my room, to tie around the vase.  I decided I’d hang a small picture of my mom and Maw Maw, since the needles belonged to them.  When tying the bow, it just didn’t look right around the bottom, which is what I had originally planned, so I tied it up higher and secured it with a piece of tape on the back since since it kept slipping down.  The little frames are actually small belt buckles I bought in a package of 4 at Hobby Lobby for another project, but they worked out great.

I’m so happy with how the vase of needles turned out.  The vase is now sitting in my craft room on top of my sewing machine cabinet, where I can enjoy seeing the needles every day.  They make me think about how grateful I am that Maw Maw and Mom didn’t give up on me and my knitting.  I have them both to thank for my love of knitting.

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2 Responses to “A Vase of Old Knitting Needles”

  1. reretro July 16, 2012 at 11:55 am #

    i am a knitter and i collect knitting paraphenalia (particularly if it’s bakelite)- it’s fascinating that older plastic and bakelite needles are more flexible and easier to use.

    • Kim D. July 20, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

      I agree! I love knitting with the older plastic needles, as they are my favorite too.

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