Sunday, February 24, 2008

"A giving heart..."

Knitting Crone commented on one of my blog entries about afghansforAfghans that I have a "giving heart." The comment touched me and keeps cropping up in my mind. Now don't misunderstand me, I can be as selfish as the next person, particularly when it comes to pastries and such things. I will eat the last piece of pie, damn the torpedos ahead. But as I knit the socks for afghansforAfghans, I keep thinking of my childhood in WWII Germany and the years immediately after the war. My paternal grandmother was the chief supplier of hand-knit stockings, not socks, but stockings. And they were itchy, itchy, itchy. I know they were knit with love, but many a winter day, I wished I wouldn't have to wear them. Some place along the way I must have promised myself that should I ever knit socks for a child, the socks would be soft and smooshy, so they wouldn't have to "suffer" like I did.

I wish I could find the black and white photograph of myself that I had for many years. I think I was about 7 or 8 years old. I was wearing a hand knit pullover, a hand-knit skirt, and hand-knit stockings with socks over the stockings in boys shoes. What a sight! The pullover was knit by little old me with a strawberry colored wool yarn. I can still see myself sitting on the neighbor's bench knitting away and showing off. I have no idea how my mother came by that yarn, but if she was still alive she would probably have quite a story to tell about acquiring the yarn. The skirt was knit from an unraveled dark blue garment my mother had exchanged for knitting something for one of my girlfriends, and the socks and stockings came from my paternal grandmother, Oma. I have no idea from where the boys' shoes came but I had to wear the socks over the stockings, so the shoes did not fall off my feet.

Talk about poverty. Poverty is not a concept that a 7 year old really can grasp. All I saw was that my mother was often very, very sad. My biggest dream was to wear an apron to school just like my girlfriend did. I would even have dreams about it. What I didn't realize until later was that even if we had the money, I would never have been allowed to wear an apron to school since my mother did not believe in this local custom. Wearing aprons to school was against her sense of propriety. Aprons were for cleaning, and not for going to school.

So thank you Knitting Crone for your kind comment; it got me to thinking and remembering.

And since this is mainly a knitting blog, "Knit on!"

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