In December of 2005, when I asked mom to teach me to knit Grammie Socks, there may have been a moment of fear hidden in there somewhere that morning. A grain of truth recognizing that if her art of socks, her knowledge of knitting was to be passed on, time was an issue.
We were headed to the eye doctor for a check up of the laser surgery done on both eyes in the past year or so and unfortunately it left her vision worse off than before the surgery. Before she could at least read. It was the damnedest thing to have a nearly legally blind parent with an inherited eye disease, most frighteningly passed on to women in our family, lift her glasses off and read better without them. Now she doesn't even have that. It takes a book held in one hand, fairly close to the face and a magnifying glass in the other. After an hour or two, her joy of reading has been replaced by a headache of gigantic proportion and arthritic hands now aching from the effort of holding both magnifier & book aloft.
I'm nearly finished reading Yarn Harlot's book, The Secret Life of a Knitter. It has been one of the funniest, laugh-out-loud reads I've enjoyed in a long time. I've been reading it slowly. . . savoring! A chapter here or there, in between knitting a sock or making letter people or fabric postcards. Sometimes housework. So when I got to the chapter What her Hands Won't Do I wasn't expecting the light hearted fuzzy feeling of my new found step towards inner peace to be replaced by sadness and fear. A knitter who can no longer knit. A knitter who gives away her beloved stash to friends who will cherish it because knitting physically hurts too much. As a quilter - or perhaps as a confessed packrat - the Stash concept for knitter's is a familiar one. But I was not ready to admit this truth likely awaits my mom. Some distant time, far too soon, knitting will hurt too much.
I put down the book and picked up the baby sock I'm working on instead. There was no way I was ready for the next chapter entitled Freaking Birds. It was clearly going to be funny and lighthearted once more. Perhaps a sad chapter needs to be savored as much a funny one?
Knitting seems to have woven itself into my daily routine without my really being aware it was happening. Maybe I've stumbled onto one of the true steps to finding my inner peace. How do I suddenly have more online bookmarks for items in a knitting folder than any other category? It remains a bit of a mystery!
As a new fan of Yarn Harlot's blog & books (also the founder of 2006 Knitting Olympics ;) I went to Amazon.com and read book reviews of her books, thinking it would help me decide if I wanted to read her books. Most of the reviewers were obviously true fans of both blog & books already. I've decided several mean reviews were either posted by Knitting Snobs or knitting book/blog writer rivals with an axe to grind. I will give the one mad about a chapter disbelieving wool allergies might be real the benefit of doubt, since Uncle Elbow once ended up in ICU and they blamed wool.
This copy of The Secret Life of a Knitter by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is borrowed through the library interloan program. I'm reading the Portland Public library's copy from four hours away! I requested her other book at the same time but Bangor Library decided to buy it, so it's going to take longer to get my hands on! I hope the publishers will/consider publishing them in large print. Having told mom of several antidotes from the book, she wants to read Secret Life next. It will take determination as this copy is very fine, small print.
Final story shared with mom before she declared she wanted to read it also:
Harlot approved method for darning socks: Hold above trash can and exclaim "Darn it!" as you deposit sock with holes into bin. I would suggest pairs go in together for this treatment, except my mismatched sock bag, overflowing in oneness, proves I have issues with letting lonely socks go.