Knitted History

As I’ve mentioned before, every Sunday after Liturgy, my church has a coffee social where we sit and eat and socialize. And I knit.

Today, I was knitting (a cardigan, if you care) on a circular needle when one of the older ladies in the parish came to talk to me. Alice is originally from Ramallah, but she’s lived in the United States for many years.

Today, we were chatting and she told me that she used to knit. She doesn’t knit anymore, so she offered to give me all of her knitting needles. I (of course) said yes. I mean, who is going to turn down free knitting needles? (Other than a non-knitter, of course…)

But then she told me the story of how she learned to knit, and I was so intrigued by the story that I had to share it with the world.

Alice is one of nine children and the oldest of the six girls in the family. Life in Ramallah being what it was, they had to make all of their own clothes. So when she was about five years old, her mother taught her to knit. She made all of her own sweaters (and sweater for other family members as well).

But the part that I found really interesting was that after the elbows of the sweaters wore out, they would unravel the sweaters and hold that yarn double with another yarn and make new sweaters.

I found it utterly fascinating to learn about how knitting was used in another culture, in a place where it was more of a necessity rather than a recreational activity.


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