Part 2: Poor Yarn market and first attempts of Knitting

Hello world!

I started writing this letter in the morning. Even though it was a very beautiful early morning, I was sitting in my old town flat where I have lived for 54 years. The sun was shining and everything was indescribably calm, but I couldn’t write a single word until the evening when I received some beautiful yarns.

Honestly, the Georgian yarn market is very poor, and I had to buy the yarn from an unknown source where the seller had no idea what kind of yarn she was selling. However, she was very happy to sell the items, and I’m sure these yarns had been on the shelves for ages. Sadly, in my beautiful country, not many people can afford to knit, and only idealists like myself do this.

Now back to the past…

I started this chapter positively, but I think I should finish talking about the USSR because it has to be done. Happily, now I am sitting in my independent country’s beautiful capital in my old flat, typing this text, and I can share my words with the entire English-speaking world. Moreover, I can make spindles and send them to the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, New Zealand. Oh my! This doesn’t sound real at all, even though I’ve been doing this for the second year now. Thank God I have lived to see this.

God, a topic I always avoid because I think that religion is very private, and we cannot judge anyone because of their religious beliefs. However, what I can say for sure is that there was no God in the USSR.

I remember how in my family, my mother used to hide all religious icons that we inherited from our ancestors. My mother had her own ritual, as nobody had taught her how to pray, she would make up her own prayers. Now, thinking about it, it was a really nice ritual.

The country was godless, senseless, and futureless.

Did you know that we had elections in the USSR? I’m not joking, we did have elections in the one-party system, and people actually attended them. If you didn’t attend, you were an enemy of the nation and would be sent to Siberia. I say “obviously” because there weren’t many crimes that wouldn’t send you to Siberia, but even if you were sent to prison, you’d rather go to Siberia.

Georgians were particularly smart about elections, as they were considered nonsense. Plus, we Georgians preferred to drink our wine on weekends than go to elections. The local government would go from house to house, flat to flat, in every flat in Soviet Georgia with an election box, and you could vote from home

Even though I have such a bad opinion of the USSR, I can say that I had a very good childhood because my parents loved me and my brother so very much. My mother, Lamara, was a journalist, and my father, Archil, was a school teacher. As a child, I remember I liked both of their jobs. Back in the days in Tbilisi, there were a few state-owned newspapers. My mother was writing about social and cultural issues; actually, she was the head of the department. My father, a history teacher, was the principal of a school where there were kids who had no parents or whose parents had no means to support their kids..

My parents never pushed me or my brother, and I was very lucky compared to my friends and classmates. We had one teacher from grade 1 to 4, Tina Berdzenishvili (I remember her name, I think I’m not that old after all), who was a very sweet teacher, and we felt how much she loved all of us. After 4th grade, every subject had its own teacher. I had one teacher back in the day when I was in 5th grade. I thought she was the most unbeautiful woman on Earth, but now I don’t think like that. However, back then she seemed that way to me. Before you think I was an evil kid, please note that this woman was a classic Soviet teacher who terrorized and instilled fear in us. Oh my god, I was so afraid of her. She could call us brainless chickens or horrible humans (we were 10), and many more. The saddest part was that she was a teacher of Georgian literature.

My mother, a writer, was shocked when she saw that I was getting so many bad grades in Georgian language and literature. They were never checking my grades, but for a kid who was reading most of the time and spending her free time with a group of people who discussed Georgian literature and history every day, it was unusual. Little did my mother know the stress I had in school. I remember once when I was walking to school, my legs were shaking so much from fear of my literature teacher that I fell down. A cab driver who saw this picked me up and took me back home (by the way, when you visit Tbilisi, you will be surprised by how sweet and open people still are).

When I confided in my parents about my struggles with my literature teacher, they comforted me like no one else ever had. As a young girl, I felt very loved and supported by my family. At a class meeting, my mother publicly called out the teacher for spreading hatred, which was unusual in the Soviet system where the government had a strong grip on family dynamics and education. For example, we were taught English in school as a language of a potential enemy, which was nonsensical. Despite this, I managed to survive mentally because I knew I was safe and had the support of my big brother, father, and mother.

You might be wondering what all of this has to do with knitting, yarn making, or spinning. Well, I don’t have the answer yet, but we’ll get there eventually!

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