My first memory of working with yarn is my mother teaching me to knit. I was about 5 or 6, and I remember her casting on for me, and showing me how to knit a row. I finished the row and asked her what happens next. It was magic for me that you turned the work around and started a new row, growing the knitted piece in length with each knitted row.
Another memory from a similar time period is of my mother spinning dog hair for a paying client. She was cursing having agreed to spin the dog hair, with very short fibers. I have a very clear memory of her seated and the rhythmical movement of her foot pushing the peddle and her hands feeding the fibers into the spinning wheel.
My mothers love of weaving and spinning is in part what brought her to England to study at Emerson College, meet my father and form her connection to Anthroposophy and Waldorf Education. This sets the background for me having grown up in a home with two Anthroposophists, attending a Waldorf school for my education and my personal connection to learning to create with my hands. Going on to study Occupational Therapy and then work in Hand Rehabilitation in orthopeadics and plastics.
My mother died very unexpectedly when I was just a new mother myself. I have worked through mourning her death and resolving the inevitable pain in the relationship between a mother and daughter, but without her. And a part of that has been me connecting to the positive qualities and skills she taught me, and integrating them into my life. This includes (but is not exclusive to) knitting and sewing and now I am learning spinning.
I took up knitting again while expecting my 1st child, in 2007. My last memory I share of my mother, the day before she died, was her showing me what she was knitting for my son. Over skype. I showing her what I was knitting and we compared our work. I have expanded on my skills, time allowing. I also have started sewing and making little toys from felt and cotton. I also enjoy making handmade gifts for friends and family, time permitting.
And now I find myself moving into a teacher role, sharing what I know about knitting, and also what I know about executive function, emotional regulation and child development. Integrating my knowledge as an OT with professional experience in Hand Rehabilitation, a passion for child development as well as personal development and my personal heritage of handwork passed on from my mother.
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