A few years ago I taught my niece Lizzie to knit. She’s not obsessed to the point of absurdity like me, but she is a natural.
Her first project was a plain, knitted scarf. No potholders for Lizzie. Her second project was a cabled scarf. She used a pencil for a cable needle, and once, in desperation, toenail clippers. Her tension? Perfect. Next was a lace scarf. I showed her yarn overs, increases, and decreases, and she was off.
Then, after I’d shown her how to do a gauge swatch and described how to do Fair Isle, possibly over the phone, she figured her gauge, adjusted the math in the pattern so she’d knit the proper size, taught herself Fair Isle, and knit herself a bloody hat. Natural.
She recently finished her latest project, the cowl shown here, the pictures of which made her auntie squeeeeeee out loud. So proud.
And a long-strived-for pair of socks:
I honor the tradition of passing on textile skills—knitting, crocheting, sewing, embroidery & etc.—within a family. I used to lament that I didn’t learn knitting from my grandmother, who was accomplished, so it could be a family skill, a bond. But it recently occurred to me how truly I am on the other end of that transmission of skills, the teacher instead of the taught.