Like most modern sewists, I dabble in other crafts–mostly knitting and mostly patternless scarves. Sewing can get pretty complicated, and sometimes it's nice to just slip into the soothing, simplified world of knit and purl.
Last summer during a family visit, I was taking my 9-year-old niece Bella shopping for her birthday present and she spied a knitting kit that was packaged for her age group. To my surprise, this was what she wanted "Aunt Amber" to buy. Apparently, she had learned a bit of knitting in camp and wanted to continue. It was an easy garter stitch scarf project–right up my alley.
We worked on the scarf together for a few days, and then I took it home with me, along with a promise to finish it for her. Neither her mother nor grandmother knits, so I knew it would quickly go to the global pile of UFOs if I didn't give an assist.
Of course, I put the project away, and the holidays and another family visit in another place crept up on me with not more than a few rows completed. I packed the project in my suitcase with a resolution to finish it before Bella showed up.
Once I arrived, I took the project along with me when I spent an afternoon at another sister's house, with yet more nieces. One is the same age as Bella, and as soon as she discovered that her cousin was learning to knit, she wanted to learn, too. And then little sister had to learn what big sister was learning.
Both girls sat there with me, working intently with me on completing Bella's scarf. By the time we finished, we had a few dropped stitches, but it was the most beautiful scarf I had ever seen–and one made with much love. Before the holiday had ended, these nieces also had their own needles, skeins of bargain yarn, and projects under way. Bella had her community-completed scarf. And I felt like I had made the world a slightly better place by getting my nieces started in a craft that has given me much peace in the chaos.
Don't you know that familial rivalry is at the root of all crafts getting passed along? At any rate, it doesn't hurt.
If you are a sewist who dabbles in knitting, like me, you should consider subscribing to the gorgeous Interweave Knits magazine.
And I would love to hear your own stories of how you have passed on crafts to the next generation in your family.