I don’t remember a time of my childhood when my maternal grandmother puts her yarn away. There was a time when she made a plenty of clothes: frilled frocks for little girls and cardigans, pair of socks and bobblin laces for young damsels. While the boys were allotted woolen apparels and floccus caps intricate a lot of designs for my cousins, new born grand grand sons and daughters.
I have many of them to this day which are one of my cherished entities and a plenty of household textiles with crocheting, rug hooking, tatting and knitting. She is indeed the master of interlocking loops of yarn with her dynamic and flinging aluminum needles.
Even though she is bent, old and lost her eye sight, my grandmother made mufflers and a lot of them. She still treasures the stitch dictionaries, magazines of design patterns and step by step learning of Garter and Purt stitches. She knew all the names Alpaca, Bamboo, Cashmere, Mohair, Nylon and Yak. She made numerous iterations , exclusive design and all the more her knitting had the special essence. She often calls my aunt to order her the woolen yarns that she brings for her from various sales. She is a knit lady all the time; watching classical Indian movies “Mother India” and “Jab We Met ”which is one of her favorite and side by side coalescing colorful hues to form master pieces for all of us. When I was a child, she seemed to me like a magician while the needles like a magician’s magical stick.
During the summer and winter vacations, I used to visit her along with my mother and younger brother, she used to give me knitted caps, mufflers and a warm knitted pullover and mittens and its warmth coaxes me to sleep. Although we used to visit her after an year and it used to fit me so well but it was beyond my understanding that how accurate was her estimate was of my height and yearly changes in the body.
We sometimes ridicule her with the large number of mufflers that she has stashed in her wooden closet. When I was young, I would often cast my eyes in the yarn asking to teach me how to knit. So to gratify my urge to learn knitting, I would occasionally take one or two of them. I played with it rolling the skein into an oblong shape, into a round ball and a cake with round cylinder with flat top and bottom.
She would always say ‘I will teach you if I am alive for long when you will grow old’ but when I insisted she gave me two of her spare aluminum needles and taught me “The yarn goes in the back and the needle goes in the back of the stitch.”
She is spinning the yarn of life and knitting it with love and warmth since years which is growing each day. What she is weaving tirelessly since years is a fabric of unity, fabric of togetherness and fabric of life for whole of our family tree.