The needles click-clack in rhythm with Murder, She Wrote, and I sit at her feet, mesmerized by the sound, the way her fingers deftly throw the yarn for each new stitch, the way the blanket seems to magically unfurl with each new row.
I learned the art of yarn craft, first knitting and later crochet, at her feet. Literally. My grandma would prop her nyloned feet on the ugly green footstool, and I would sit next to it, slowly moving my own needles at a painstaking pace. Stab, wrap, through, off. Not too tight, not too loose. It was a lesson in frustration.
At some point, I stopped. I don’t remember why, but the allure of yarn moving through my fingers was left behind in favor of hours on the phone with friends and boyfriends, of teenage-hood and homework, of books and music.
Somewhere in my late 20s, my fingers began to feel that itch again. This time around, I started with crochet. Simple things like dishcloths and scrubbies. Easy. I graduated to hats, then to ear warmers. Soon I found myself wanting to try actual garments, but realized that crocheted garments are a bit bulkier than what I prefer.
My grandma’s shoulder had protested knitting by then, and I feared I might never learn her skills, might never know what she knew to pass it along to my own children. Instead, she gave me a copy of the cutest little green book that is still my go to when I forget how to do something. I also turned to my own mother, who had recently rediscovered her own love of knitting.
While none of my own children have yet to take up the skills of yarncraft, I find other ways to pass along the tradition and my own love of making something from nothing. Hats, socks, dishcloths, even hand-knit Christmas stockings have made their way into the hands of my children as the years have passed. With each new skill I learn, from working with yarn to cooking or writing, I look for ways to invite my family to share in the fruit of my labors, if not in the actual activity itself.
As I consider the rhythms, routines, and traditions I want to cultivate in my home this year, reflecting on my hobbies and the way I spend my “free” time is a big part of that. My family loves stories, and we spend a lot of time escaping into books, movies, and TV shows. But when I consider my own legacy, I want to leave behind more than memories of me curled up in my favorite chair with a book. Life rhythms that move me outside of my living room are healthy, and working on projects that I will pass on to others gives me joy.
Compared to some of my other goals, this one is a little more involved, which is why it’s so important to me to break it down into action steps. Without a plan, my many yarn and paper projects will sit idly on shelves until I feel like working on them (meanwhile my craft stash grows ever larger). And (insert shamefaced emoji here) I’ve fallen behind on my family yearbooks, which is one of my family’s favorite legacy projects that I create each year.
So how am I breaking this so-bit-it’s-sometimes-overwhelming goal into bite-sized pieces this quarter? Like this:
- Spend 10-15 minutes working on a Legacy project each day. Daily
- Invite a friend for a walk outside once a week. Weekly
- Work toward completing one Legacy project each month. Monthly
- Keep a running list of the projects that I hope to accomplish/create this year. Yearly
I’m happy to report that I’ve completed my first Legacy project as of writing this post. I finally finished my 2021 family yearbook. (sooooo behind) On to catching up on 2022!
What are your hobbies and interests? How do you create life rhythms that support these ways being creative or enjoyment? I’d love to hear what projects you might be working on, or how you plan to adjust life rhythms to make room for what you love.
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