It’s Grandma Gibson who starts me off
gently correcting me, praising the stitches
pointing out how it’s written on the pattern.
Shows me how to cast on.
Then Mum’s Mum, Grandma Gasson
tries to improve my grip, gets me to wrap
the wool just so, around the middle finger.
Shows me a different way to cast on.
I already know at five, I’m a clumsy child
one who may trip over her own shadow,
and I’d heard them decide, my Mum,
her Mum and Dad’s mum,
after some discussion, how best
to teach me to knit. None of them
left-handed, like me, so they said
they’d just try the right handed way.
So then it’s Mum who instructs me
about tension, how to knit into the back
of the stitch when making ribbing,
how to cast on in another better way
and she’s the one, as I knit a cardigan
for my cousin, who picks up the stitches
if I drop them, and when I have finished
helps me cast off. She presses the pieces,
sews it together with a blunt needle
not by over-sewing, but using backstitch
because that’s the way, the only way, to do it.
Sarah J Bryson is interested in words, words for well being, people and nature and the connections between these. She has poems in print journals, anthologies and on line, including The Poetry and Covid project. She has combined photographs with haiku style poetry for an online zoom group.