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I was a freshman in college and we were not allowed to go home for the first six weeks. We had freshman orientation during that period and it was suppose to help us overcome homesickness. I was so lost having never been away from home. Growing up I was always close to my family. My grandma and grandpa and two loving aunts, with their families, lived just up over the hill, as was the saying. Indeed it was within a young girl's walking distance. You see, we lived on one hill and grandma and grandpa lived at the base of another along the truck route, highway 77. My grandparents settled on that little plot of land back when Oklahoma was still Indian Territory. Mode of long distance travel was by Conestoga wagon, but I digress, that is their story.

I have many fond memories of my grandma working in her beautiful flower gardens bent at her hips, for her knees were bad, or quilting her latest hand pieced quilt top supplemented by fabric rescued, from worn out clothes, set into the quilting frame in the middle bedroom. You see, nothing ever went to waste; everything was either used entirely or repurposed. I love that word; it sounds much better than recycle.

My little brother and I often spent a day with grandma, while mother was shopping or at the doctor's, where fidgety little children made for a very stressful task. Grandma would always invite us to take a coffee break after a round with her needlework. She was knitting, crocheting, embroidering, or hand piecing another quilt top. She learned the skill of needlework either at her mother's hands or an older sister's. It was a necessity, when she was a young girl, to be very proficient at these skills, otherwise there would be no warm quilts for the winter, anything to decorate neither humble home, nor clothes to dress her family. Sitting at the round oak dinning table situated in her cozy little kitchen, grandma would offer us some popcorn and mugs of coffee, of course ours was warmed milk flavored with her strong coffee.

I have a few items of my grandma's handiwork and wished I had more. Most of it burned when the old house caught fire from some faulty wiring. My grandma died of heart failure from the trauma of her legs being burned. She was in her 90's. My grandma's greatest fear was being burned. I think it was either her mother or mother-in-law that died in a house fire.

I have told you this story so you would understand why I decided to buy the simple booklets called "Teach Yourself to Knit" and "Teach Yourself to Crochet". I did not learn at my grandma's knee the skills of needlework. I must have been a hand full back then, because I could not sit still long enough to learn how to cast on stitches, or even how to chain with a hook, and forget tiny embroidery stitches. Oh, but I watched and learned to love the arts by watching my grandma making miracles with such simple tools. I would be remiss, if I did not pass on these skills to someone whether they are blood family or adopted by love of friendship.

My freshman year of college I learned to knit and crochet and it took me home while I was miles away.

Welcome to my blog. Here you will learn who I am, what I do, what I like, and what molded me. Oh yes, you will get to follow me while I relearn knitting.

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Comment by Patricia A. Pearson on March 8, 2010 at 2:05am
Susan thank you for reading my little story. I am so glad that my sharing had a part in your remembering your grandmother. I enjoyed visiting your profile and look forward to seeing more of your fiber art.
Pat
Comment by Susan the Blue Lake Knitter on March 7, 2010 at 7:19pm
Pat, Thanks for relaying your story. I think many of us have a background rich in some form of needle craft... each is different in many ways, but still the same. It made me remember my grandmother, and how wonderful it was to spend time with her. I learned a lot from her, and appreciate the legacy she left me. --S
Comment by Patricia A. Pearson on March 7, 2010 at 4:49pm
Thank you Peggy and Nancy for reading and commenting on my blog post. I really am not a creative writer though would love to be one. The posted story surprised me very much. I really have never been able to write on demand only on very rare occasions. This one just wrote itself. I felt like my grandma was with me the whole time. I love those moments. It was such a joy to share this story. I hope that it touched someone in such a way as to cause them to take that trip down memory lane. I love to hear other peoples stories too.
Peggy, I enjoyed visiting your page and looking through your pictures and absolutely love your studio. My son recently moved out and I have taken over his bedroom as my studio. It is a work in progress. I really need to paint.
OKC has changed a lot Peggy. You will hardly recognize it if you get the chance to visit. I was away for seven years and did not recoginze it.
Nancy, thank you for sharing a little of your story too. It is fun to look back isn't it. I taught myself to crochet and knit at the same time, but crocheting really took hold. In the 1980's I switched to thread crochet and really love it. I still crochet, but I wanted to really learn knitting, so here I am at knit picks and boy did I land into a really rich well of knowledge. I am having a ball. I'm not sure what you mean about referral of daughter and transition into family, but I am so glad you had knitting to help with the stress. Any kind of hand work for me helps with stress or depression, which I have had a 2 year struggle with. Things are getting better everyday thanks to prayers. I do hope your girls will learn to appreciate the craft as we have.
Pat
Comment by Peggy Stuart on March 6, 2010 at 6:57am
Patricia: What a wonderful writer you are! We lived in Oklahoma for four years--Ponca City--and DS2 was born in Oklahoma City. Of course, it was a state by then, LOL! I look forward to reading more about your adventures! --P
Comment by Knotty Nancy on March 5, 2010 at 2:15pm
I love your story! I, too, grew up in the circle of aunts, uncles, cousins, and my beloved Gramma. She taught me how to crochet and embroider, but we never got around to quilting, and she did not know how to knit. I have been crocheting since I was about 7 and remember many, many, many hours with Gramma, drinking tea, eating cookies and doing needle work while watching Lawrence Welk and The Big Valley. I taught myself how to knit while waiting for the referral of my youngest daughter. Her transition into our family was painful, followed by some extended family stress during which time I set down my needles. I have started to take care of myself more, so I have picked my needles back up. So much yarn, so little time! Now if I can just have the patience to teach my girls how to do these crafts!

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