When I was 4 or 5 my mother introduced me to needles. They were long and British style. made of bone and fitted under my chubby arms and I would knit little squares.
Then I would knit sweaters for my dolls with my needles.
I soon learned that I had to start the sleeves first, or my lazy mind would take over and I would knit a lit of vest. Disciple is what I needed.
By the time I was in Grade 6, I was knitting my own sweater. And I still starting with the sleeves.
I was delighted when a new fashion came in that called for a thick wooden needle in one hand, and a ordinary size needle in the other, producing a lacy sort of cardigan and sweater.
About the same time I discovered the sewing needle. I loved these needles. You could see results far more quickly by sewing two pieces of cloth together.
After a few years of plying my needle by hand, we acquired Singer treadle machine.
What joy! What progress!
We couldn’t afford bought patterns so it was a home made job. And to tell the truth, they were pretty darn good.
Sometimes, I would lay on the floor and Mom would trace around me. That was the beginning of a dress or blouse.
Mom was the same way.
If we saw something in a store we liked, she would measure it with her hand and fingers, much like a horseman measures a horse, and in 2 days, it was complete.
The other things that I learned were patience and perseverance. If anyone has owned a treadle machine and those bullet shaped bobbins and the tension control will believe in fairies.
Bad ones that change the tension and time they were feeling frisky, or if things were progressing too well.
I progressed through Home Economics and found the joys of both patterns and electric sewing machine. A small battle with my teacher when I picked a dress and small cape, and she wanted to start me on an apron. I won and got an A+.
My mom and I started the Cowichan Valley Basting belles. A sewing 4-H club. It was great.
The first year, The Archie Stevenson trophy for the Seamstress of the Year was a boy. Richard Meyer.
After the death of my daughter, Megan, Mrs Joan Meyer and her daughter took over the club. It has acquitted itself well in competitions all over BC with a solid reputation for excellence.
I was still knitting by hand. Often using the string pattern method in lieu of patterns. This is where you take a piece of string, put a knot where the length would be. Another double knot around the chest, and further 3 or 4 knots for the sleeve length and cuff size.
Then I learned I was going to be a grandmother.
I bought my first punch card Knitting machine, complete with all the accessories like hooks, and needles, needle pushers, books and punch cards.
The same time I bought my Knitting machine from Joyce’s Knits in Ladysmith, She lived across the road. She purchased a computer at the same time and I am considered a bit of a geek, so we ended up with a pathway worn between the houses and with a great deal of knowledge between us.
I upgraded to a Brother 970, a Brother 270, a garter carriage and a whole lot of other toys.
I knitted a 3 piece suit for my son’s wedding as well as a few layettes. A number of sweaters for myself and the rest of the family.
I am now spinning with machine knitting in mind.
I haven’t knitted anything hand spun yet, but soon…..
So that is how my life became a journey of pushers and needles…….
I guess someday, I will have an intervention, but til then, I will just keep pushing the needles.