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Friday, July 06, 2007

I had another run in with my mother

Now, I don't want you to think that this happens often but it seems to be increasingly related to knitting (see here for the previous episode). This time it revolved around a similar theme - me being frustrated at her lack of confidence in her knitting ability, her not being positive enough about something I was interested in.

My aunt is ill. I decided it would be a grand idea if we (me, my mum, my sisters and my dad and brother if they're interested) knitted her a blanket. My mum said that was fine if I organised it* so off I trotted full of enthusiasm and ideas. Probably a little too much enthusiasm. I sat down at the computer to look for yarn and then with my trusty stitch guide to look for stitch patterns. I sketched an idea for the layout of the blanket, picked all the stitches I liked the look of and thought looked fun to knit, went back to the computer to search for rough estimates of yarn requirements, drafted a plan on excel, coloured it in, ordered the yarn, changed the colours to what were in stock, scanned in the stitch patterns from the book, emailed everything to my mum and sisters and BLAM. Instant smack down from my mum.

I got quite huffy with her. It was all over the internet which probably contributed to me feeling huffy. The huffy feeling continued after we had stopped messaging so then I phoned my sister. My big sister, who I knew wouldn't indulge me but I hoped would sympathise. She was quite keen on the knitting and the stitch patterns but couldn't view them on her computer, it being old and doddery. She wasn't having any of my whinging and after a lovely chat and being told off for being over sensitive (Moi? Never!) I felt better and realised I too had some part to play in the situation and that my mother wasn't entirely at fault. In fact, perhaps I was more at fault than her.

I love stitch patterns. I love challenging myself with knitting. I get excited by lace and cables and entrelac and colourwork. I want to feel I'm stretching myself and I feel pleased at the end results. I fear not the knitting.

My mum loves to knit. She can knit bobbles and intarsia and jumpers and lace but mostly, she loves to knit. She doesn't constantly want to be taxed and I admit, neither do I. She doesn't desire to fight with cable needles to prove mastery of another stitch in the same way I do. So why do I keep trying to push her to be more like me? Shouldn't I let her find her own way? I feel like I'm encouraging her to feel more confident in her abilities but why is this important when she's having plenty of fun?

I also realise when she said I should organise the blanket* that I went too far. I didn't involve anyone else in the planning stages and then didn't explain myself when I emailed them. Organising it isn't the same as being a bully. Organising isn't an alternative to communicating. We're all going to talk about it at the weekend. I was ever so pleased when I received an email from my mum saying she had done some of her own stitch pattern research and had some ideas. I will let you all know how it pans out.

I ordered the yarn from Getknitted. They were very helpful and the next day I received this

containing this

11 hanks of Blue Sky Alpaca Dyed Cotton in Honeydew, Thistle, Shell, Orchid and Sky, and 2 balls of Rowan Calmer in Vintage. I have a long list of things I want to knit my Aunt including Shedir from Knitty. I've wanted to knit Shedir ever since I saw it, ever since I was challenged by the cables, ever since I heard of cabling without a cable needle, and ever since I heard of chemo caps and the realisation that I started knitting far too late to make one for my nan who died 18 months before that issue of Knitty was published.

This is the progree of Shedir

and here is the progress of the first panel of the blanket

See you all next week.

*My mum denies all knowledge of saying I had to organise the blanket but then that's mothers for you.

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At 8:42 PM, Blogger Kendra said...

I'm glad that everything is sorted out now. The blanket is a lovely idea and I'm sure you and your Mum will make a success of the project together.

Shedir looks lovely!

At 11:57 AM, Blogger noblinmama said...

Noblinchild used to tell people she was adopted. Now noblinmama will tell people she was!

At 6:47 PM, Blogger La Cabeza Grande said...

If there's one thing I've learned about mothers and daughters, it's that we're so alike we frequently collide - like magnets with the same charge we push apart if we're wrong end up.

It'll be alright once everyone sees the beautiful colours and pools pattern ideas.

At 7:01 PM, Blogger SweetPeaknits said...

I think thats a great idea to knit a blanket. I love the colours and yarns you chose. Looking forward to seeing your progress.

Our mothers are always right, you should know that by now! Are you sure you said you would organise it ;)

At 5:30 AM, Blogger Kelly said...

I think it's cool that the majority of your family knits. I can relate to your story about your mother and her abilities. Like you, I like to challenge myself with my knitting so that I can look at my FO's and say, "Yeah, I did that!" My boyfriend, on the other hand just likes to knit hats. It sometimes frustrates me because I know he is capable of doing so much more. But I need to get over it and let him knit what he likes, because knitting is not a job, it's something we all enjoy doing for fun.

Beautiful blanket, BTW.

At 11:08 AM, Blogger NoblinPa said...

How come I never get a mention

At 9:32 PM, Blogger Bob said...

Do you Have any Noblin Relatives in North Dakota??

At 10:52 AM, Blogger Erssie said...

That word 'organising', never take it to mean 'doing' as far as group work is concerned, nearly always means 'co-ordinating', or 'suggesting' rather than 'delegating'.

I think having a list of possible building blocks, and then asking others to contribute to that possible list is a fab idea, then you can meet up, with your possibilities sketched on individual bits of square paper with instructions on the back and literally sit down at the table moving those squares around until you are all happy, then adding that to an excel chart post knit.

Perhaps you got used to organising meaning designing, and the boundary between maker and designer was too rigid for your Mum.

Good idea with blankets of a communal nature as well to have a mixture of plain type blocks, interspersed with blocks of a more challenging nature, then each knitter can volunteer, or have a go, and if they don't like it swap blocks with people.

I always wanted to do a communal blanket project with AKers, but I was never able to inspire people, whereas Gerald of I Knit has managed to get people to knit blue squares for a Knit A River campaign where the finsihed object is for publicity only and is never going to be used.

My special project has a few blankets in it, must show you sometime. Photos of your contribution coming through soon, will share when they do.

At 6:14 AM, Blogger Rosemarie Buchanan said...

I had no idea my mother had a sister in England.



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