Thank you, Benthe
Being late to knitting, I’m often jealous of people who grew up with it in their family. In fact, the woman who infected me with said passion is (at least) a third-generation knitter. (Hey, B, when’s your episode with Beema and your mother airing?) I feel like I missed out on the passing down of knowledge, tradition and family history. I’m no Knitty’s Amy; it’s just the opposite. Heck, I’m the guy my mom calls for advice for her friends—have you ever tried to describe a SSK on a cell phone?
Thanks to a kind and dear friend from work, my feeling of being left out has been replaced with a deep gratitude and a sense of honor. While cleaning out her basement, Leslie came across her mother-in-law’s needle stash and entrusted them to my care. Benthe’s son Peter doesn’t knit, and Leslie is a crochet-er (now armed with Benthe’s hooks), so she was kind enough to think of me! I was floored when she handed me a grocery bag that rattled with weight of aluminum, resins, metal and such. I am now guardian of Benthe’s valued tools (ranging in size from #0′s to #15′s):
- 13 pairs of 14″
- 4 pairs of 13″
- 2.5 pairs of 12″
- 20 pairs of 10″
- 4 circulars
- 84 individual dpns
- 3 stitch holders
- and a metric/English (not US) needle gauge.
Benthe grew up in Denmark and moved to the U.S. as a young woman. I knew she was a knitter from my first day at work, as Leslie gave me a mini bear from Benthe. This was long before I knit, and I wondered what kind of compulsive person would hand-make gifts for strangers. She was prolific and generous with her craft.
Today, Benthe is still very much alive, and I hope to do her needles justice. I never thought I’d have more needles than yarn. Anyone need a bear?