By Sylvia Olsen with Odelia Smith
Illustrated by Sheena Lott
Neekah’s great-grandma, Mumma, knit all her life. Her Grandma Dorothy knits, her mom knits, and all her aunties knit. Even some of Neekah’s uncles knit. And Neekah wants to knit too. Every year she asks her mom if she can learn, and every year she hears, “Be patient. Your hands aren’t quite big enough yet.”
At last Neekah is ready to learn, her head and heart bursting with the colourful patterns and designs she will create with the wool. She sits down with her mom, holding the wooden needles Grandpa Carl has made for her and the wool from Auntie Joni’s wool shop. But knitting a toque for Grandma Dorothy is not as easy as she had imagined.
From award-winning author Sylvia Olsen comes a lyrical celebration of the tradition of Cowichan knitting among the Coast Salish peoples and the joy of creating something with your hands. Combined with Sheena Lott’s exquisite watercolours, families will love to share this cozy, loving story that carries the clicking of knitting needles down through the generations to a young girl holding her first set of needles.
ILLUSTRATED PICTURE BOOK, 40 pp, 8″ x 10″
ISBN 9781550392029, hardcover, $21.95
“This gentle and inspiring story—with outstanding illustrations—will be read over and over again. Love threads itself through the book as knowledge and skills are passed among generations: love of family, love of learning, love of tradition; plus perseverance, the joy of discovery, creativity, and the importance of patience. A simply wonderful book.”
—Meg Swanson, Knitting designer, author, and owner of schoolhousepress.com
“Neekah’s Knitting Needles reminded me of my childhood and the great times I had with my grandfather, Xaniimastan (Peter Mitchell), sitting on his lap while he taught me cultural songs from the bighouse. I really enjoyed reading about a young person who wanted to learn and how knitting taught her our cultural lessons about never giving up and about Respect, Patience, Generosity, Hard Work, Love, and Caring. I was lifted up when I read how proud she was to give away her first toque.”
—XanIImastan, Tim Harris, Stz’uminus First Nation Principal, W̱ SÁNEĆ Leadership Secondary School