Among the people that I've enjoyed the most of those I've met through knitting is Franklin Habit.
I've read his blog (The Panopticon) for years. I met him once shopping at Stitches, and now seem to be in the habit of doing it at every knitting event I attend. We say hello, we chat for a moment, he is incredibly gracious, and we move on. I squee when I think he can't hear me anymore. (Tell me you don't think he looks like Ben Kingsley just a little.)
Recently, he posted THIS on a new blog that he'll evidently be doing for Lion Brand Yarn. He talked about what amounted to building a family tree, but "rather than births, deaths, and marriages, it was a record of attitudes, passions, and techniques. It was my[his] lineage…of creativity."
I love that idea. And so, I interrupted my current spate of genealogical research (and my never ending quest to locate some tangible evidence of the native american ancestors that my whole family agrees exists) and the ungainly burden of trying to achieve a clean house, to contemplate my creative lineage. What did I learn from MY ancestors.
Realizing that, through my more recent ancestors, I've probably gleaned all manner of wisdom originally passed on by earlier ancestors, I thought I'd introduce you to those I'll be mentioning below (in alphabetical order)
Anna, (Grandma) my father's mother, and Grammy Dot, my stepfather's mother, for whom I seem to have no digital images at all. They were my original enablers, tying me eternally to the web of playing with sticks and string.
Janet, my "wicked evil" stepmother, whom I adore, and of whom I seem to have ZERO solo photographs. This will be fixed. She is a septuagenarian who is still happy to sit and color in good coloring books. She gave me the Beatles, and colored pencils, and her mother gave us both great books for kids.
Linda, my beautiful, talented, and gracious mother. I'll stop there lest this post lose it's focus - I could go on for a long long time about how lucky I am to have her as my mother, and why.
Malcolm, (Papa) my father, with thanks that he didn't drop me that day he saw his fathers' face in mine. Oddly, the only digital pictures I have of him are also group shots. Again, this will be fixed. As you'll see below, I learned a lot from him -- even though we stopped sharing a domicile in about 1967.
Marvin, my father's brother - about whom you've recently read quite a bit.
Paul, my wonderful stepfather, without whose guidance I'd be a very different person.
Susan, Marvin's lovely wife - engineer, quilter, basketweaver, wonderful woman, who deserves a much better picture.
Sylvia, my mother's wonderful, creative, loving sister, who hasn't sent a holiday or birthday card graced with any art but her own in so long I can't remember the last time I got one without one of her marvelous pictures.
Virginia, (Grandmother) my mother's mother, again without the digital pics.
And... my great grandmother .... I'm pretty sure you know why no picture is here.
This is what I learned from these wonderful people
Measure three times, cut once (papa, Paul, mom)
Don't limit your aspirations (grandma, mom, paul)
Mice matters (grandma, grandmother, mom, also Janet, Paul, Susan, Marvin.....)
Of course you can do it yourself! (papa, Paul, mom, grandmother, Marvin, grandma, great grandmother, Sylvia, Janet....)
beauty is worth the effort (Susan, grandmother (and no, we're not talking about makeup here, we're talking about amazing quilts and exquisite dresses)
sewing - mom, who learned from grandmother, who sewed all mom's clothes
knitting - Grammy dot, who I never saw knit
crochet - grandma, who learned from her mother, whose hooks I still own.
carpentry - papa, who gave me my own tool box when I was 12, and Paul, who made it true that sawdust smells like home and safety.
electricity isn't scary - papa
electrical repair/lamp building - papa
plumbing isn't scary - paul
It's worth writing down the stories - Marvin
and the corollary - stories are important - Marvin, Paul
no project is too big if you take it in pieces - paul (the BOAT!)
good tools are worth the extra money now (papa - from his father, PD)
bad tools aren't worth the money at all (papa)
using the RIGHT tools can make all the difference (papa)
size matters (papa and his dining room table)
just a little shift into the wind can make all the difference - Paul
save that - it might be useful - Papa)
corollary -- you probably don't need to go buy something just for this purpose, when you have that collection of string, screws, boards, needles, fabric .. in the shed/basement (papa/pd)
do a little every day and you can achieve amazing things (Paul)
just because you don't do it that much doesn't mean you can't teach it if you know how (Grammy Dot)
we don't need no stinkin' pattern! (great grandmother, who crochet amazing and large doilies out of barely visible thread with no pattern)
And so very much more.
Thank you -- to my parents, and their siblings and their parents, and their parents...