Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Teaching the Guys to Knit

A simple ball of yarn,
a couple of knitting needles,
and every stitch you knit
brings you closer to that clear calm space
in the center of your soul~~

For me-
one of the greatest pleasures in my relationship with knitting
is the ability to pass that skill on to friends 
who desire to learn to knit.

"Will you teach me to knit?"
is like music to the ears of a devoted knitter.
There is something about watching new fingers learning to hold the needles, awkwardly moving as instructed while trying to manipulate the yarn, knowing all the while that in time this will become like a second nature to them.  

My friends Bobby and Eric invited the Gardener and me, along with my friend Marsha and her husband, to dinner at their beautiful  "Just Be Farm".  A knitting lesson was planned for after dinner that evening~~

 Eric is a phenomenal cook!  He made "from scratch" pie crust for the Turkey Pot Pie that they served for dinner.  

 Eric told me that his grandmother taught him to make pie crusts at an early age.  He said that he was making pie crusts as a child when he was so little that he had to stand on a little stool to reach the kitchen cabinet.  

 This might just be THE best pie crust ever!
(Eric-you totally rock!)

While the pies were in the oven~ Bobby and Eric gave us a tour of their beautiful farm. 

Our friends Bob and Eric

These are pygora goats.  (A cross between pygmy and angora goats.)  Eventually, the guys want to spin and knit the yarn from these adorable goats.

Meet Luna, Hermione, and Minerva
the cutest little goats ever!

Just like being at a petting zoo!!

Do you think the Gardener will let me have some baby goats?

They call this the "Chicken Palace".

Doesn't everybody have crystal chandeliers hanging in their barn?  (I laugh every time I think about this!)

Such a beautiful winter evening sky.

Dinner is Served!

After the most wonderful dinner (I brought peach cobbler and home made vanilla cappuccino ice cream!)- we all adjourned to the living room for the knitting lessons~~

"~~ and you hold your needles like this -

Knitting can calm a busy mind with it's gentle repetitive rhythms.
 It can busy idle hands, uplift your spirits,
and heal your soul~

 Knitting keeps you company in sickness and in health,
in happiness and sadness, 
in calm and concern~

I first learned to knit when I was 13 years old.  The first thing I ever made was an ugly scarf for a project in my home economics class.  I chose to learn to knit because I knew that my Mother was a knitter and I thought she would make the scarf for me.  I was wrong- she wouldn't and I had to make it myself :(

When I was 13 - knitting was not the "in" thing to do. There was no publicity related to knitting - no knitting clubs, no pretty yarns, no reason really for this teenager to want to keep up with the skill - so I laid down my needles (after I made that ugly scarf!) and did not pick them up again for over 30 years~~

A few weeks before my Mother passed away, while I was caring for her - she asked me if I had ever started knitting again.  I told her that I had not knitted in years, and did not think I remembered how.  She asked me to bring her needles and yarn - and there on the side of her bed - just days before she passed away - my Mother taught me to knit - again.  I have never stopped knitting since that day~~

Over the years, I have come to realize that knitting can bring more focus and calm into your life.  Knitting calms not only the knitter, but also those around you. My knitting has helped me through times of both worry and despair. I have knitted both "prayers" and well- wishes" into gifts that I have made for others~~

My message to Bobby and Eric~~
"knitting is not just something that you do.  To truly appreciate knitting you need to allow it to become a part of you.  When you have come to fully appreciate what that means - (and you will) - I am asking you to do as I have done- teach someone else to knit.  Pass those skills on to someone else who desires to learn."

"And~~ knit something for charity.  Use your skills to make something that will benefit someone less fortunate." 

When you have achieved success with your knitting~ (taught someone else to knit and knitted something for charity)- my gift to you both will be a pair of glass knitting needles - the ultimate in beautiful needles.  Perhaps you might also want to pass this tradition along~~

(Thanks guys for THE most wonderful evening!)

I have been crazy CRAZY busy here in the Sacred Yarn Room!! I am about a third of the way through my "nesting" list.  To those of you on this year's list - I so greatly appreciate your patience. I am steadily working, working, working~~
(for those of you on the list~if you are worried or want to know about your place on the list - you are welcome to email me!) 

And - I am just now getting to sort through the photos that we took over the holidays.  Coming up next will be some pictures of our grandbabes- just wait till you see how they have grown!!
Please be patient with me as I have not had the time to visit your blogs as often as I want to right now.  I am making my rounds slowly, but surely~!!


myriamkreativ said...

Hi my dear friend,
thank you for your e-mail... its so good to know that you like your felt bag! Sounds as if you had a wonderful evening - so good for you!
It is a wonderful feeling when you can teach something to your friends and let them share the pleasure. Lys is also learning to knit right now *lol* - and she loves it. She is doing her first scarf...
Hugs & kisses

T's Daily Treasures said...

Hi Vicki, what a wonderful post. I love that the guys want to learn to knit. Those little goats are the cutest things. My cousin tried to teach me to knit many years ago, but I seemed to be all thumbs. For me, crocheting is so much easier. Working with yarn sure is soothing (except when I might be having a hard time with a new pattern). I love that I can take it with me wherever I go. Happy Hands, Happy Heart! Happy day to you. Blessings, Tammy

Lois Evensen said...

I just love this post! The guys, the food, the knitting, the stories. Wonderful! I am an avid knitter and know just what you mean about the relaxation it brings as we knit ourselves into each piece.

While I was at sea and knitting one of the British officers told me that in the navy the guys were taught how to knit so they could make their own caps and scarves. I imagine it was also a productive way to spend a lot of time at sea.

All the best,

Jenny Schouten Short said...

Vicki, What a wonderful evening. I think you'll return for some follow up lessons and pies. Can you spin goat wool? I haven't seen the adorable little cuddly goats. I think you need to learn to spin. My neighbor tried to teach me but I laughed too much to concentrate. xo Jenny

Joyful said...

Sounds like a great, old-fashioned evening of good time :-)

MosaicMagpie said...

What a wonderful evening you had. The goats are adorable!! Maybe I can have some too! I have never seen glass knitting needles before. When my eldest daughter was in 6 th grade she attended a small private school. There were 10 students in the class. I taught them to crochet, we made an afghan for the local homeless shelter with the squares. Then we learned to knit and everyone made their very own scarf (maybe a little like the first you made). The final project was I taught them was to quilt using the english paper piecing technique. They were hexagon pieces and each child signed one of the pieces in their "block". With the help of another quilting mom we assembled the blocks into a quilt. At the end of the year the teacher was given the quilt. I saw the teacher not long ago and she said that quilt is still on the back of her sofa. I hope the guys are successful with their knitting and learn to spin the wool as well. You are right about the zen like state, knitting can put you in. It is like that with stitching for me as well.
Good job on passing on your skills that is one of our highest callings, sharing our hearts.

Dorthe said...

Dear Vicki- you had a most cosy evening I can tell-with a great dinner, and wonderful friends.
I hope they learned just enough ,to carry on knitting and learning.
The photoes from the farm,and the animals looks beautiful, and I can see you are covered in snow----here it is still rain-
Such a lovely story about you and your mom, dear friend.
Hugs and love, Dorthe

yaya said...

Your Mother truly gave you a wonderful gift at the end of her life. I bet she would be thrilled to see how you are sharing this gift with others! That farm looks so pretty this time of year. I'm jealous because he can make pie crusts (I struggle) and now he can knit too! (I can't do that either!) Fun times with good friends!

Andrea said...

The story about your Mom brought a tear to my eye. What a special gift!
I really think I would like those friends of yours! And those goats, well, they are just to die them!
I've yet to see a chandelier in a barn around here! But those chickens deserve birth almost everyday...imagine.
All the best to you Vicki,

Sherri said...

Vicki, I love everything about this post!!! You are an amazing woman! What a wonderful evening you had with your friends. Those turkey pot pies look amazing! I love, love, love those little goats-they are so cute!! HUGS to you my friend!!

Carole said...

Oh my you have me crying again. That story about your mom really got to me but I'm glad you shared. I guess it made me think of my own mom who loved to knit. I wish I had learned more from her. She knit with the most beautiful french yarn that at the time we couldn't buy here.
I love that you shared your skills with your friends. Gosh are they cute and HELLO they need to start a blog!!! I want goats like those too.
I have got to show hubby.

Ok I'm just taking up all your comment space. Such a great post!!!


Createology said...

Vicki Dear this is such a heartwarming and touching post. I understand completely what you say about knitting and all it brings. Your mother truly gave you a wonderful gift. Passing on your talents and paying it forward speaks to your generous heart and angel soul. I will check your list for my name. Blessings...

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Oh, Vicki, your words resonate with my own heart about knitting. Couldn't agree more.

The evening at the farm looks like a to-die-for good time! Beautiful surroundings, good food, good company and knitting. Thank you for sharing this post. blessings ~ Tanna

Fruen said...

Hi Vicki.
Thanks for that lovely post on your blog. You are SO right about what knitting can do to you and your surroundings. I also feel the same way about spinning yarn. Really great guys, learning how to knit. I´m sure you´ve been a great teacher too. I have inspired/encouraged my mother to knit again after a break(taking many years)because I spin and knit and often buy fibres and yarn and store it in my room ;-)
Have a nice day.
Greetings from Kis, Denmark

Anonymous said...

What a pretty atmosphere to live! hard work may be , but peaceful and serene.

gigi knits said...

I love the knitting needles!!!! You are so right about knitting there is nothing like it to take your mine away from all the problems going on in your life as alittle knitting will..

Priscilla said...

How touching to hear how you started knitting again, brought tears to my eyes. I think you said it all in this great post!

artistamyjo said...

I loved your post and all the photo's with it.
I taught painting classes when I was younger,always loved sharing my knowledge.
I'm very patient,just knowing I;m on the list is awesome.
Warm Hugs

Dalmazia Lodi Rizzini said...

ciao vicki....sono entrata nel tuo blog quasi per caso e la prima immagine di te immersa nella natura mi ha invitato a scendere a vedere altro.... quello che dici è lavoro manuale, nel tuo caso i ferri, nel mio il ricamo, il cucito creativo,ecc....è compagnia, creatività, è soddisfazione, è amicizia...spero che la lingua non sia un problema per comunicare...ora ti salvo nei miei preferiti così vengo a vederti ogni volta che

Mila said...

I adore this post so romantic with the snow, that gorgeous farm (in which country is it?), and than friendship & love...and knit!
I try to learn many years ago but my hands refused to cooperate :(!
Mila :)

Lili said...

Oh my dear Vicki, by the time I finished reading this post I was very misty eyed. You are such a beautiful soul and I loved hearing about how you came to pick up your needles again. Many words of wisdom in this post and I know your Mama is looking down on you with smiles and pride for all you do. Oh, and I can so appreciate the chandy in the barn, I think your friends need to start a blog and I think you deserve some sheep (maybe they'll watch them for you...haha). I have never seen glass needles, oh my they are so GORGEOUS. love you lady xoxo ~Lili

A Scattering said...

I hardly know where to begin with the reasons why I love this post. I love your way with words (as always) and a number of the photos really speak to me. The "our friends Bob and Eric" photo - you can see the love. The "do you think the Gardener will let me have some baby goats?" photo - I can almost hear your delighted giggle. And finally, the photo where you have your arms around Bobby, helping him with the stitches. This post is a wonderful!

dreamchallenge said...

Such beautiful words to describe what knitting REALLY can do for our inter peace. Bless you for sharing your talent and your life. LU

Louise said...

So nice to see men knitting...hope they get addicted as we are. Can't understand why men men see knitting only for women. I got my son-in-law to try weaving but he won't pick up a knitting needle. Love the chandelier .

I am on my way to work in Texas, hope there are some good yarn stores there.

SuZeQ said...

I'm sure you have knitted yourself right into the hearts of those friends. You rock! Me knit though? Oh my goodness - when would I ever have the time?

sophie...^5 said...

Delightful evening in the hands of an educator of knitting, a connoisseur of pies and a shepherd of gorgeous animals just needing to be knitted....this is a wonderful post Vicki...and everything you say is absolutely true about knitting and Jim finished a huge blanket and gave it too the men's shelter recently, so yes this is important. Keep those needles clacking!!

elvira pajarola said...

Carissima Vicki.....Charming, sooooo charming !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Without any doubt the most most most beautiful chicken palace I've ever seen....I just love the idea; I will search now a candelier for the chicken stable too......!!!! And for Cinghy-Jasmine also.....!!!!

I adore these little sweet soft furied beauties......; oh, I'd love to have a couple of them.....!!!!!

Wonderful tender story of your knitting, cara......!

YOU must be the most patient and lovely knitting-professor ever; my dear; I really can see the concentrated sympatic faces of your friends; FABULOUS!!!!!!!

Your friends are lucky to have You as their proessor; your Art & your Passion makes you surely the most precious knitting teacher ever...!!!!

....and please tell your sympatic farmer-friends that I looooved their GORGEOUS Farm.......just SPLENDID!!!!!!

ciao ciao cara Vicki!

Stitchy Mc Floss said...

What a wonderful post! Your friends sound like so much fun. What a wonderful gift to give someone, the gift of knitting. :)

"Let me warn you that a genuine interest in knitting can keep you fascinated, eagerly pursuing it, and never satisfied though a lifetime. " Rose Wilder Lane

The knitting becomes you....I love that. :)

Blessings always

Rustique Gal said...

Vicki, What a wonderful post. I learned knitting from my Mom when I was 10 or 12. So did my baby brother, so he could dress his collection of Troll dolls! The guys have a wonderful farm, Love the goats!
Also just caught up on your last post with the Skywalk pictures. Wonderful! I was there with my GF in '09, but she wouldn't ride the tram. I think I have to go back! I have such an affinity for the mountains.
Take care and have a wonderful year!

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Vicki dear, I just loved seeing them in action. WONDERFUL! And, I loved seeing the chandelier. Well, everyone SHOULD have one in their barn.

Love to you,


Esme said...

Vicki, What a beautiful story and tribute to your mum. I learnt to knit when I8. I hated sewing and a friend had a great sweater that she knit. So she should me the basics and in the middle of summer I knitted this bulky sweater. My mum went to Europe (my grandma died that summer) and when she returned she did not believe that I knitted the sweater on my own-I have not picked up my needles in a few years-you are right it is such a peaceful activity. Can I come over and learn how to make pie crust? You should see my ugly crust. Those goats are absolutely darling. You have me wanting to pull out my knitting. xoxo E.

John'aLee said...

What a beautiful post. You are an inspiration. Love that farm and those baby goats...a dream of mine. Some Day!!

Shell said...


What a WONDERFUL Post! You made me cry,,,,but just a little! My mother taught me enough to make a scarf, but I truly wish I would have learned from my Grandmother,,,,or my "Oma," who knit almost everything she wore, including skirts! She made some of the most beautiful patterns!

Love the little fluff balls and you teaching the guys,,,how special! Looks like you had a great time!

I'm still snowed in, but it is finally melting, we got almost 15 inches by last nite! Now,,,,to swim into work tomorrow!

Big Hugs and LOVE!
Your long lost friend

Bead and Needle said...

I LOVE that the guys wanted to learn to knit...I actually taught two little neighbor girls, last summer - the youngest was 9, and took to it like you wouldn't believe. Make sure they post what they make!

Barbara S. said...

What a lovely post...I feel the same way about knitting and about yarn. Passing it on it a great thing. I love that your mother re-taught you the art of knitting just before she passed...that was a real blessing for both of you.