Friday, December 4, 2009

Stash to Story on the Road: Knitting in Swansea, Massachussets

Hello! This is a cross-post from WabiSabi Knitter ( Keep knitting and writing! Your stories matter. Your projects are heirlooms. Value them! I hope to preserve the generous spirit of knitters on this blog. Please join me -- send in your stories.

A grant from the Swansea Cultural Council sponsored a session at the Swansea Public Library. Five wonderful women gathered to share stories about learning to knit and quilt.

Here's an excerpt from one story about learning to knit:

"Gramma was the one big influence in my life. In many ways I realize she encouraged me to be interested in many things -- gardening, church, and knitting. I sat for what seemed like hours on the floor at her feet, while she unwound skeins of yarn and it was my job to put the yarn into an ever-growing ball. She made sweaters for my brother and I and every afghan in the house was one she had made...once I finally learned the various stitches I made small things like blankets for my doll's cradle...Gramma's motto was one that many people lived by then, 'idle hands are the devil's workshop' so I always made sure I was busy...I still feel compelled to never have idle hands. If I'm not reading or writing, I'm knitting for embroidering. It's always rewarding to be productive. Being bored has never been a part of my life."

Knitters do have the advantage over boredom. And there is a beauty when a skill such as knitting is given to another person, especially a family member. The purpose of Stash to Story is to celebrate these moments and understand how they can lead to life-long appreciation of and participation in the arts. They can also shape a person's philosophy of life and affect quality of life for the better!

Thank you to the Swansea Local Arts Council. Thank you to Lorna, Dilia, Alice, Melissa and Marty for two wonderful evenings! Keep knitting, quilting, crocheting, embroidering, painting, crafting in all its forms. And, please, for me, tell the stories of your creative journeys so you can remember and celebrate!