There are certain sounds that, when we hear them, immediately bring to mind a childhood memory. One of those sounds for me is the sound of knitting needles clicking against each other as the hands of an experienced knitter fly over the yarn. Those hands belonged to my mother and it was a sure sign of the arrival of fall when her leather knitting needle holder would come out and the sounds of "click, click, click," started flowing forth from the living room of the small apartment we first lived in when I was very young, not yet school age. My mother, father, sister and I shared a one bedroom downstairs apartment in a 4 family home owned by my mother's cousin. My sister and I shared a bed in the only bedroom. My parents camped out in the living room on what was then the height of functional furniture, the Castro Convertible sofa bed.
When I think about that sound, I can picture my mother sitting on the end of the grey sofa. next to a table and lamp, the yarn unraveling from within her leather bag and the needles clicking back and forth in a gentle, almost rhythmic melody only she could hear. I knew that if my mother was knitting, then the time for sweaters was upon us for that was her favorite thing to make - warm, soft, cuddly sweaters and hats with pom-poms that tied under our chin. No winter wind was going to sneak in and freeze our little ears, not while her hands could still work those needles. There she would sit in her flowered, shirtwaist house dress (no trousers back then, ladies), a cup of coffee at her elbow, and the radio playing her favorite daytime soap operas (did you know that The Guiding Light started on the radio?).
Now it is oh, so many years later, and there is the beginning of a nip in the air, and my hands itch to pull out my quilted craft bag, and the big wicker container that holds all of my yarn, and see what speaks to me. I an nowhere near the knitter my mother was. I prefer to crochet, something she was also an expert at (no pillow case or handkerchief was complete without that gentle, lacy edge she whipped on). But every once in a while I will pull out a sturdy pair of knitting needles and some nice, warm yarn, and begin a new hat for myself or a grandchild, one that will keep the cold air from nipping our ears. Mostly, it is just for the chance to sit quietly in a room and listen to the gentle "click, click, click," of my needles, and feel my mother's presence in each and every stitch.
And so it is.