Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Standing on a Stump

I'm not usually one for revealing stuffs about myself, but you'll have to bear with me, as hours of scanning family photographs (both figuratively with mine eyes and literally with a scanner) have left me feeling a tad reflective.
Here you see me, as an obnoxiously-wee one, standing on a stump in front of my grandfather's farmhouse.
His farm was always a great place to explore (exploration, of course, being modus operandi for curious little ones).
He was quite an inventor, and made very many things himself.
My dad is the same way (see example here), and it appears that the trait has been passed through the genes to me (though I'd put my vote in for nurture, rather than nature). Not that I'm an inventor! I wouldn't dare dream. But the "making" impulse is one of the connections that I never saw until I was far away from it.
My "making" has always been of a different sort than my patrilineal predecessors. I don't believe they ever made anything that was wearable. Mostly stuck to the usable, drivable and function-able.
As I may have mentioned before, I learned to knit (almost) entirely from books. The one exception was the day I decided to learn, and asked my mom to teach me to cast on and knit. She learned from her aunt, who learned in school, as she was a professional knitter and seamstress back in the day in Portugal. (So, I knit Continental, not English).
So, that's my knitting-lineage.
While I don't imagine that I'd make a fantabulous teacher, I do hope that someday I can expand upon that little link there and give the happiness of a new craft and pastime to someone else.
I've never traced back my family tree, and have never really been too interested in doing so (mostly, I suppose, because I can't. I'm a first-gen Canadian, and anything that came before me is likely lost to the proverbial mists of time on scant scraps of paper in some puny village on the Acores or under a grand pile of mouldy banker's boxes on the mainland).
I think I'd rather place importance on a tree that was based on skill rather than birth.
A mertitocrical-tree! How very Napoleonic of me.
So there's me, standing on a stump in my childhood happy place.
Blonde and everything (where the hell did that come from?!)


soknitpicky said...

What a cutie! :-) Did you ever learn Portuguese knitting?

Poethead said...

I guess you're "stumping" for knitting--in a political sense!

Teresa said...

soknitpicky: I never have learned Portuguese knitting. But I must admit, when I found out such a thing existed I was intrigued as to how it worked.
I found videos by "chuanavit" on YouTube quite informative. Still haven't tried it!

Hilary said...

What a wonderful post -- thank you for sharing your reflections! I often think about what my knitting means about my genes, family history, etc.

I also find it so interesting that your family is from the Azores! I come from a small town in the agricultural part of California whose population contains a large number of people who either emigrated from the Azores or their parents or grandparents did. The rest of us are either Scandinavian or Assyrian (or a combination!) -- everyone came for the farming, back in the day. Anyway, I think this is so cool because I don't think I've met anyone of Portuguese decent outside of my home town. Well, I met a gal in San Francisco once, but she ended up being from a small town near mine.