Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Learning to Knit and Remembering

The Big Bowerbird has moved on from face washer and made herself a pair of hand-warmers   I hope she remembers this time, sitting on our old couch, bathed in golden sunlight, learning to knit. A tumbling of calls for Nenek, the knitting and slipping of stitches, the studious concentration, the joy of watching a project take shape.

There are so many treasured memories I have left somewhere behind in my childhood, now many are just brief glimpses, lingering like a forgotten dream. I remember mum trying to teach me around my daughters age, and really not having a strong aptitude for it. A wonky blanket for my dolly.  I wish I could snatch out clearer pictures from that foggy past. Here I am again, fumbling along. I think mum's more patient this time around, and perhaps I am too. It's almost summer, but I think I will keep knitting, lest I forget how to all over again.

We gave a small donation to the Remembrance Day Poppy Appeal today. I just donated some coins, as I don't like the waste that all the fundraising trinkets create. A beautiful old man placed poppy stickers on the children and was so thankful. It was as if I'd filled his tin with notes. I felt it was the least I could do after getting lured into buying a ticket for the obscenely large Oz lotto draw. I then had to explain to the children about war, and what sometimes happens to soldiers who come back from war, and what happens when they don't. Lest We Forget. Nenek's dad was away so long at war that she didn't recognise him on his return. How lucky we are to live in such comparatively peaceful times. Luckier than winning 1st division I would say.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

 John McCrae, 1915

You can plant a virtual poppy to remember a loved one, or find out how to donate here.


  1. Kirsty this is such a beautiful moment you have captured by doing this your daughter will be able to retrieve this memory always. I tried to teach my oldest to knit but it wasn't quite her thing maybe when she gets older but for now I encourage her desire for cooking, I can't wait till she starts home ec. next year. x

  2. I know what you mean about memories, i get snatches here and there but mostly the things I remember are the things that I have photos of. Lovely that you could capture these moments.

  3. They look so engrossed in what they are doing and each other, what a nice way for them to spend time together.

  4. My memories of learning to knit and sew are quiet times with my maternal grandmother too. Sometimes this was active 'tuition', but most times by just being there with her - kind of like leaning by osmosis. I also remember the joys of straightening out her sewing box by winding up pieces of lace or ric-rac, colour coding buttons, tidying up the threads. Special, special times. When she left this earth, I was given the contents of her sewing cabinet - what a special inheritance.


In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
Margaret Atwood

“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour:
"Winter is dead.”
― A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young