Friday, April 18, 2014

Ellie, My Knitting Mommy

Best Quote I Heard All Day

"Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either." 
  -- Elizabeth Zimmermann

Yes, it's been months since I've blogged. Why? Primarily because my mother Ellie was failing and I spent time with her. Many of my readers remember me writing about Ellie a lot! So here's why I'm writing about her again. Finally.

So Long, Mommy!

Mom died last month, March 28th, on her own mother's birthday date! And at 90. Here she is on her 90th birthday last August. Looked great!
Back in 1957, Ellie taught little Marilyn how to knit. Why? Because little Marilyn loved to fuck around with her mother's knitting markers, due to their colors. We lived in Montclair, New Jersey, where Mom still lived until she passed away.

So Mom dragged me to Upper Montclair's 5&10, buying me Red Heart multi-colored yarn and a pair of Boye aluminum #8 needles. Told me I could make myself a scarf. She cast on stitches for me and showed me how to insert the needle to make a knit stitch. "Do this to all the loops, dear. Until you reach the end. And I'll show you how to make more stitches!" Yeah, I remember what she said.

I was excited! And loved to see the colors change as I made new stitches. She sat with me and hugged me. "When you finish this, I will show you how to make the other kind of stitch, sweetie. It's called a purl stitch." And she did.

By the time I finished my little scarf, Mom started showing me how to cross-stitch. So by the time I was 8 years old, could knit and sew. Here I am with her at 8, with my brother Rich too.

Stopped knitting until I graduated from high school. And Ellie wasn't knitting either, doing needlework. But once I had my two daughters in the early '70s, we both knit for them. And Mom showed me how to cast on again because I had no knitting books then.

Here we are last year, knitting together. All my Facebook friends have seen this picture. I love it.
EZ's quote above is so true. Yeah, still knitting madly, sans Ellie. And still crying for my Mommy loss; however, she saw my recent knitting the day before she died. And loved it, although was too sunk to knit in the hospital. My sister is donating all of Mom's knitting needles and yarn to her church's knitting group. Blessed.

Recent Design Shit

Yeah, I'm not working still but am designing. Gonna create an e-book called "Sock It To You!" that will contain a pile of my sock designs.

The book will have socks done in lace, textures, Fair Isle, and more. I'll put it up on Ravelry for sale. I've designed Gansey and Aran socks too. My last post has pictures of two designs that are going to be in the book. Go, Go Gansey socks and Tweetly Dee socks. Was going to put them up on Ravelry but due to Mom's illness, didn't finish the directions. All the book's designs will be available individually too.

Take care, my beloved skanks. I'll be back writing again. Mom loved my book and I know that she'd be concerned that I stopped writing due to her death. Next week is my birthday.


Katie K said...

What a beautiful woman! And so we knit on....

Emma in France said...

Mar, I am so sorry for your loss. Your posts always made your Mum seem like such a warm and lovely person.

Yes, keep knitting and keep writing and we shall keep reading your posts.

jjillyb said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, I have missed reading your posts.

Sue said...

So sorry for your loss, but EZ's right, knitting soothes the troubled mind. I knit through my daughter's death (car accident) and then her step-dad's 13 months later (aggressive cancer). It was mostly mindless socks, but a bit of lace when my mind would cooperate and focus.

Happy early Birthday.

Dana said...

I do remember your posts about her. I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful remembrance you wrote. My grandmother was always, always, always knitting, and I have some of her needles that remind me of her every time I see them.

stash haus said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I loved when your Mom appeared in your posts. Thanks for sharing the family photo. Knit on - through all crises.

Marilyn Roberts said...

Bless you, readers. Mom was happy that I was a knitter and thrilled when I became an editor at McCall's Needlework & Crafts. Once I became a tech writer and trainer, she was happy but didn't understand what I did.

Teri said...

I'm sorry to hear of your mother's passing. Thanks for sharing. I enjoy your writing.