Sep 8, 2011

Knitting by Proxy

I've written about my mother, knitter extraordinaire, in previous posts and how much I admire her beautiful skills at knitting.  She is one of those knitters who feels the design, who absorbs the pattern visually and works out the stitches first in her mind and then through her needles.  I aspire to get there, to be an intuitive knitter, and to use my eyes and fingers to guide me through.

I'm looking forward to the day when I can look at a beautiful sweater or scarf and figure out its construction by merely looking and touching.  But sometimes this kind of talent gets taken advantage of (not in a malicious way but in a funny way).  Years ago, a friend of my mother's who cannot knit asked my mother to knit a baby sweater for a friend's soon-to-be-born grandchild.  My mother knit up a gorgeous little design and off it went to this lucky baby.

The baby knit was thought to be made by my mother's friend (hmmm, I wonder how that happened?).  Fast forward to summer 2011.  Having loved the baby sweater, my mother's friend was asked to knit another, this time for an older child, with a luxurious french yarn in buttery yellow to be shipped to yet another friend living in Hong Kong.  

How could my mother refuse and expose the ruse?  Sheepishly, my mother's friend supplied the yarn, photo, and pattern and my mother went to work. But remember, she doesn't read patterns and so whipped up this little beauty with only a picture as her guide. 

To add a little flourish to an otherwise very simple cardigan, my mother designed this beautiful edging. Doesn't this story almost feel like a parable?  So, will my mother's friend ever be found out?  Probably not ... and somehow I think there are many knitters by proxy out there.  


  1. what a lvoely story!! looks like knitting is in the blood.

  2. Funny story--your mother is so gracious! And boy does she have talent. I need a pattern and there can be no errors in it or I slide down the slippery slope with it! Love your mom's edging--truly a knitter to be admired and you are so lucky to have a knitting mama.

  3. The sweaters, both of them, are stunning. I get it that this is a deal between your mom and her best bud. But I sure hope that bud does something AWFULLY nice for your mom, several times over. To have this kind of talent and be willing to let someone else take credit. Yipes!

  4. How nice to be able to share the knitting love with your mum. Those are amazing little cardigans for someone to knit without a pattern! Your mother is truly talented.

  5. That lady is missing out on so much by not asking your mum if she would consider teaching her to knit. Personally, I'd much rather gift something that I'd made myself, flaws and all, than pass of someone else's hard work and talent as my own. But that is in no way any distraction from your mother's truly beautiful work and gracious nature.

  6. Your Mom is an amazing knitter! How gracious of your mom to knit again for her friend who never corrected the "case of the mistaken knitter" years ago. It goes to show that an artist doesn't always need the name recognition as much as they need their art to be appreciated.