Friday, February 3, 2012
Today 22 women gathered together to learn from each other. They took an hour out of their busy day at work, turned off their phones and set aside their email.
They gathered around a single table - both executives and secretaries - with a single goal. Learn how to take a ball of yarn and turn it into a square of fabric.
And I got to teach them.
There was a lot of chatting and laughter. Some of them had knit or crocheted when they were little girls. They had learned form their mothers, grandmothers, aunts and friends. Most of them had forgotten most of what they had learned. All of them wanted to give it another try.
I was happy to be asked to help teach. I thought it was going to be just a dry little lecture and a lot of hands-on knitting and crocheting. But I got much more out of this gathering.
I got to hear the stories of when they first learned.
A woman recently learned from her mother. She carefully cast-on a pot holder under her watchful eye and knitted each stitch. Always focusing on the stitch at hand. Making it the best stitch she could. When she paused and looked at the pot holder, she discovered much to her chagrin (and her mother's amusement) that her little square was actually a misshapen triangle filled with holes.
Another woman read a book where one of the characters would just whip up a new sweater (don't you love those books!?). Thinking it couldn't be that hard, she looked up knitting on the web and started a scarf - a few months ago. It was almost a rectangle. More of a curvy wavy squarish...well it was almost a rectangle. She thought that she could use a tip or two from a live person.
One woman had watched her mother knit for hours at a time when she was a little girl. She never actually knitted herself, but she remembered her mother. Her eyes misted up as she told me how she would watch her, mesmerized by the needles and yarn flowing through her mothers hands being transformed into a sweater, scarf, a hat. Her mother has since passed away, but just casting on and knitting a few stitches brought those memories back for her.
It didn't really matter to anyone what they end results were. They just enthusiastically wanted to give it a try and see if they could do it. And they did.
By the end of the hour each and every new knitter had cast-on and knitted a few rows of their project. I was touched by their enthusiasm and joy over their accomplishments.
And I'll always remember their stories - and how my mother taught me when I was a little girl.