Delight filled my heart when my two nephews and sister arrived to help me celebrate my 32nd birthday. A close-knit family, separated by hundreds of miles, we rarely get to visit face to face. With my brother-in-law on a work trip, my nephews begged to go visit “Yaya.”
One of the amusements I planned for them, in addition to the adventurous climbing of Rock Dimensions’s Climbing Wall, was the stimulating task of learning to knit. Guess which nephew made it to the very top – about 40 feet high!
Nathaniel (age 7) had been curious about Yaya’s job for quite some time. He was enchanted by the cool cotton lime green yarn that changed colors and the spotted knitting needles that were just for him. Crawling in my lap, with his tools in hand, we started lesson 1: casting on.
The next evening, it was time for lesson 2: the knit stitch. I broke it into 4 simple steps.
1. Insert (the needle into the loop)
2. Wrap (the yarn around)
3. Over (drop the loop over the needle)
4. Off (drop the loop off the other needle)
Like the beat of a marching band, we went through the four steps over and over again. After 12 stitches and deep in concentration, Nathaniel demanded quiet from the whole room (including the TV) as he worked the next few stitches without my hands guiding his. His little hands shook as he mentally went though each step, deciding it was better to use his finger to accomplishes steps 3 and 4 rather than move the knitting needles which he had just how he wanted them. At the end of each successfully made stitch, I gave him a high-five.
Not to be outdone by his older brother, Micah (age 5) crawled into my lap to learn next. I was shocked as he hadn’t shown interest before, but his competitive spirit spurred him on: anything my brother can do, I can do to, and if I try hard enough, do better. Firmly grasping a spare set, he boldly jabbed the needle into the loop. Somebody had been paying attention! Then he grabbed the yarn and wrapped it around with great confidence. Then, his young voice squeaked, “okay, Yaya, I’m done. You do the rest and I’ll just sit here.” Yep, that’s my boy! I finished steps 3 and 4 and we repeated the process.
After requesting I knit up to the next neon green section, the last night arrived too soon. Nathaniel moved onto lesson 3: learning how to move the needles to accomplish steps 3 and 4. This lesson was quickly followed by lesson 4: tension. His ability to concentrate when he’s really interested in something amazed me. My energetic boy actually sat still for half an hour while he learned his Aunt Yaya’s craft.
Teaching my precious nephews the skill that brings me daily joy was a blessing from the Lord. I remember back to learning myself from my Baba (dad’s mom) and Nanny (mom’s grandma) and am pleased to pass the legacy on to the next generation.