a knitter, that is.
I was only home for three days, but I went prepared, knowing that at some point during the whirlwind visit, I was going to find the time to teach my 13-year-old cousin how to knit.
My father is the oldest of 11 kids, so I have lots of cousins, age 13 and otherwise. Many of them are fair game for knitting, but I chose this particular cousin, S, because she's had to come up in the school of hard knocks. One of our aunts is raising her because her father, my uncle, is in prison and her mother is on a batshit crazy crack pursuit.
In spite of it all, my cousin is a lovely girl. She's smart, matter-of-fact, funny, and self-contained in that way that's necessary when you've faced a lot of uncertainty. Drugs and prison overshadowed my own childhood, so I understand where she's coming from. My aunt worries that S spends too much time alone in her room, but I don't. In high school, I'd spend entire summers holed up like that. I can't say I grew into a social butterfly, but I can hold my own in polite (and impolite) company. S will be fine. I know it.
When you're the kind of girl who likes to engage in a lot of me time, it helps to have yourself a good handcraft. And so I went to Toledo armed with Lion Brand and size 13 needles for S. I gave them to her on Saturday night, while we were hanging out at my sister's graduation party, and taught her what to do. Not that I had to show her much. A few instructions once or twice and she was off.
It wasn't long before she was showing a family friend how to knit. It was very sweet and very fun. After our friend left, S kept working on her scarf until it was time to go home.
The next day was to be my last full day in town and naturally I had a host of plans and committments. I wasn't thinking I'd have to add S's house to the list, but when we met at our grandmother's she mentioned that she'd gotten up that morning and worked on the scarf until it was done. All she needed to know was how to "close" it. And so we drove to her house.
I showed her how to bind off, which she picked up in about two seconds, and voila:
You have to love a girl like this.