When I was 6 or 7 years old, Nanny took it upon herself to teach her left-handed granddaughter to knit. Oh how I wish that I could extract the images from my memory to show just what those early ‘scarves’ looked like! Nanny praised them endlessly when what should have been praised was her tenacity and unending patience. Ruby had taught herself to knit left handed in order to be able to teach me to knit and purl in the direction most intuitive to my young brain. She was amazing and I will be eternally grateful to her for opening the door for me to a life skill that has both given me joy and sustained me in days of struggle – my knitting is always there to settle my mind and busy my hands with the knowledge that I am creating something useful for someone near and dear to me.
Ruby knit my sister and I, preteens, matching skating outfits. Mine was blue and white – sadly long gone – but this is my sister’s outfit (minus the skirt!). To my delight, my niece was wearing it last weekend – I hadn’t seen it in years – and my sister graciously lent it to me to photograph for my research. I am dating this to be approximately 1981.