“definition of knitting:

To unite closely, to grow together, to connect, to engage,

as hearts knit together in love.

as broken bones will in time knit,

and become sound.”

Madaloon on Deviantart

It was the 1970’s and I was very small when I first begged to be taught to knit. Smaller than she had been when she was forced into labouring in the mills. I had a warm bed and clean dresses and a mother who loved me and bullied me in equal measures. Mum seemed to understand that I just couldn’t cope with being hungry and would push the raw cut vegetable pieces toward me with the blade of the knife as she cut them for dinner. I was never hungry and I was cuddled often.

We would get together for family birthdays – my grandparents, my parents, aunties and uncles and cousins. There was a rhythm to family life and a gentle order to our time together. The women cooked. The men laughed and joked. The children played. We ate and ate – wonderful homemade food – food prepared in the way my Irish great-grandmother had handed down – soup and roast and jams and cakes – mostly prepared from what we grew.

Washing the dishes was a ritual that involved everyone offering and most being turned down. Those who cooked were the first to be relieved of duty and teenage children were frowned at until they offered to wipe up. I remember the damp tea towel becoming sodden in my hands as we wiped and wiped, the kitchen slowly returning to order.

And then came the best part. After our meal, Granny and Aunty Dell would sit and knit and reflect. I listened and learned, embraced in their love.

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Image: To knit. by Madaloon on DeviantArt

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