Mary Helen's daughter and my first elementary school friend sent me these two pictures of my first knitting teacher and the woman who facilitated so much joy to enter my life.
Aren't they fabulous? They transport me back to The Little Shop and those wonderful, simple years. It was so much simpler. There were not so many choices. Every time I go into a yarn shop today, I shake my head in amazement at the beauty. When Mary Helen taught me to knit, all baby yarn was pastels, blue, green, pink and yellow. Now baby yarn is every color, hue and intensity of the rainbow. Before amniocentesis, knitters were relegated to either waiting until after the baby was born to begin a gift or making something yellow or green. I wasn't much on knitting for babies until I was in a yarn shop in Traverse City and saw this beautiful deep teal baby yarn out of which I made an amazing bunting. I wish I had taken a picture of that.
Even back then I was one not to follow the pattern exactly but take my own little rabbit trail.
My husband and I have been going through my Mom's things as she has moved into an independent living center. This is one of my great experiments. It is the first time I worked with mohair. I thought it was the most beautiful yarn I had ever seen. It was my first doing something I later learned was called Intarsia. I learned that mohair is hot and can be prickly. Between the mohair and the worsted, this felt a little like chainmaille but I thought it was oh so beautiful. It ended up being a gift for my Mom, but I don't know where I thought she'd wear it. It was hot and heavy but because I made it for her, she thought it was wonderful. I remember I couldn't find the perfect button so I made those cute little buttons out of the mohair.
I also found this. I was so proud of all of the different patterns. This was a struggle but I thought the yarn was so beautiful. It has a little sheen to it that doesn't show up in the picture. I don't think I had learned yet to write each row of a sweater like this on a separate index card until all patterns are on row 1 again. Punch a whole in the cards and fasten them together with a circular holder. You only have to refer to one index card and not multiple places on a pattern. Once again Mom was the recipient and she saved these all of these years!
In both of these projects, Mary Helen held my hand every step of the way. When I close my eyes I can see The Little Shop as I opened the door and went in. I can see Mary Helen this tiny little woman quickly walk across the shop (Mary Helen always walked quickly) to give me a hug. This was back in the day when I only bought yarn for a specific project, I didn't start a new project until the current one was completed and there was no such thing as UDY (undesignated yarn). I remember looking for a pattern then looking for the exact yarn the pattern used. I haven't done that in a very long time
A walk down Memory Lane! Isn't nostalgia fun?!?!