On New Year's Eve 1981, I received my first knitting book. My sister got her first cookbook from the same series, and we both still have those books to this day. My knitting book was full of patterns for toys, doll clothes, handy kitchen items, a patchwork blanket, and (thrill of thrills!) a bag with a buckle closure!
Nanny was a master knitter. I remember her making clothes for my Sindy doll. I was enthralled by how she could come to the end of a coat or dress and have it hanging off the needles looking almost like the finished product, hardly needing anything in the way of sewing-together. Whenever I saw this, I aspired to one day be a skilled enough knitter to do the same thing. And guess what--now I can do it too.
My mum taught me to cast on, knit and cast off when I was seven. Nanny showed me how to purl, and how to make the pretty, lacy pattern that adorns the bottom of Sindy's first wedding dress (Sindy had a couple. In this day and age, a girl must be realistic). Often, when I'm knitting, I wonder how far back these skills went and where they originated in my family history. I'm glad to be able to carry them on for one more generation, but wonder if it'll stop here, since I don't have any girls of my own (not that knitting is only for girls, of course). For the time being, I'll keep knitting and loving it and perhaps one day I'll have the opportunity to pass the skills on to someone else, paying it forward and keeping an old tradition alive.
If my math is correct, Nanny would have been 94 today. Tonight, I will remember to celebrate her as well as the ringing in of the New Year.
Have a safe and happy New Year's Eve, everyone!