Posted on June 16, 2005 at 11:18 am

Long time readers of this blog (that’s what, three of you?) will remember my Mom.  The rest of you may be surprised to learn that I have one.  No, it’s not a Minerva complex, it’s just that since I write this blog with her in mind — and she does read it so I have to be a little careful about what I will admit to–I seldom actually mention her.  But if you pay attention, she does pop up in the comments every now and then, and she is also important for the blog’s purposes because she is largely responsible for whatever skill I have that passes for clever when it comes to the domestic arts. 

She taught me to use a sewing machine, inspired me to play musical instruments, and man, is she a skilled and adventurous cook.  In 1975, my mom the wasp was making Peking Dumplings when most of anglo North America thought of Chinese food as Chung King Chicken Chow Mien, with the vacuum packed pop-top of crispy noodles taped to the top of the can. My mother may be personally responsible for introducing Mexicali cuisine to Canada since we emigrated to New Brunswick in 1972 with a case of Old El Paso Taco Shells and the only bottle of cumin north of the 49th parallel. 
While our Danish aupair, Annie Lade, taught me to love knitting, it was my mom who first gave me the basics and helped me with dropped stitches.  She is the master of making the sweater that actually gets worn,  unlike me, who knits fancy schmancy things that look great on Rowan models but in my life, only live in the closet, harbouring moths and regardless of however many times I try them on with however many different articles of clothing, continue to be as unflattering/ugly/what was I thinking? as the day I stuffed them there.  Meanwhile, my mother knits sweaters that fit, look great, and are part of a wardrobe. 
But these days, she isn’t as much a knitter as she used to be since she lives far away from a proper yarn store in the heat of South Carolina.  She valiantly bought some apple green Cashmerino last year when she came to visit, and cast on at the same time as I did for a Tuja, but my personal experience with the cross-your-baby-belly bra sweater was enough to make her put the needles down and wait for some other inspiration to strike for that particular yarn.  But she has taken up her needlepoint in earnest again.  So imagine my amazement and awe when she sent me this picture yesterday, of the Christmas stocking she made for The Boy.  Stare in wonder, if you like.  This beauty will be gracing my mantle piece come December.  Santa will blush at the compliment