When Erica sat down in front of my video camera to tell her life story and immortalize the family history of her deceased husband and her own ancestors...she had an ulterior motive.
For her entire life she had been teaching people how to knit at home and as a paid employee at craft stores. When she had come to Canada in the early 1950's with her husband and several small children, she couldn't speak English but she did already know how to knit.
She quickly learned English by watching afternoon soap operas on TV and by reading her Bible in English. Later she found immense joy in teaching many craft-lovers how to knit in workshops held at local craft stores. She also knitted thousands of socks, scarves, and blankets that she donated to charities to keep people warm.
Feeling strongly that it was her job to pass on useful and inspiring information to the next generation of her family she and I spent several afternoons doing video interviews, her on her couch, knitting needles in hand. She told stories going back to her small village in Germany that had somehow come through the war unscathed. She was very grateful that her own mother and grandmothers had taught her cooking, sewing, knitting and other skills that she found very useful in her own life.
In this part of her life story family history she wanted to make sure that her future great grandchildren - the ones not even born yet - would know how to knit, Italian style. She says this method is a far more efficient way of knitting.
What do you want your great grandchildren to know?
Who is going to teach them?