Friday, July 17, 2009

40th Anniversary of Moon Landing - July 20 (1969-2009)

Commemorative "Moon Landing" Afghan (made 20 years ago), which has a connection to my tatting history!

Tranquility Base Here.
The Eagle Has Landed

Neil Armstrong,
July 20, 1969

First Astronauts on the moon:
Neil Armstrong and “Buzz” Aldrin

Astronaut in Command Module: Mike Collins

Note: All three astronauts will turn 79 this year!

The above commercial patch is affixed to the knitted afghan I made 20 years ago, in 1989, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the moon landing. The full afghan is shown below, as is the story of how the afghan is ‘connected’ to my tatting history.

The 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing is coming up on Monday, July 20, and
my husband and I clearly remember – as if it were yesterday – watching with awed amazement as Neil Armstrong took those first steps on the moon.

It was a spectacular achievement, and because of television, millions of earth’s inhabitants witnessed the event as it was happening! It was a profound moment for the entire planet!

And as incredible as it was to see the surface of the moon ‘up close and personal’, it was the vision of the ‘blue orb’ rising above the horizon that took your breath away. The previous December (Apollo 8 – the first manned orbit of the moon – also incredible) had shown us that spectacular view of the earth (in color!) but it was truly astounding to see it that view from the vantage point of humans who were actually standing on the moon’s surface!

My husband and I (25 years old) were living in our first apartment, and we watched the moon landing on our first color TV set (purchased in 1966). Even color TV was amazing back then, since we grew up with the ‘black and white’ TV sets of the 1950s.

We held our breath as we listened to Armstrong counting down the tricky approach to the landing site on the moon. And although the first visuals were fuzzy when Armstrong jumped off the LEM and actually touched the surface of the moon, it was incredible that we were hearing and watching the whole thing in ‘real time’. It truly was a “Giant Leap for Mankind”!

For me, the moon landing event is also a reminder of another important July anniversary, which is VERY important to my tatting history!

20 years ago today (as I write this), on July 15, 1989, my husband and I were driving to Grantsville, Maryland (a two-hour trip) to attend a craft fair (which I know I’ve mentioned several times before).

While riding in the car, I was intently working on embroidering ‘eagles’ on some of my last remaining individually knitted squares for an afghan I was attempting to complete in time for the 20th anniversary of the moon landing. I wanted the afghan to be totally finished by the anniversary date on July 20, so I had only five days left to sew all the squares together, and to add the fringe (very time consuming) – that’s why I was diligently working on it during the trip.

What I couldn’t possibly know during the trip to Maryland was that attending that fair was going to change my life! In a very short time, my passion for knitting was going to be transferred to another needlework hobby. Three guesses what that was!

I had no idea that there was going to be a tatting booth at that fair, and that (on July 15, 1989) I was going to see, for the first time, someone actually tatting! (Almost as amazing to me as the moon landing!)

So the afghan commemorates not only the moon landing, but also the ‘beginning’ of my tatting adventures! On the ride back home, all I kept thinking about was how I was going to somehow, some way, finally learn how to tat!

And unbelievably (to me), a month later, in August 1989, I started learning the basics of tatting, and a year later, in October of 1990, I was actually demonstrating tatting at a local fair with the ‘Beaver County Tatters’. (I didn’t even know there was such a group – and so close to home!)

Of course, I didn’t stop knitting overnight and still do some knitting. It is ironic, however, that only a few months before the fair I had been elected President of our knitting guild (a two-year term)! Also, in 1993 our guild hosted the Knitting Guild of America convention in Pittsburgh (600 attendees). But tatting quickly took over my life and I was immersed heavily in tatting from 1990-94, and even submitting 3-D patterns to a national magazine.

Then in 1994 I went back to work full time and I dropped out of the knitting guild as it was too difficult to keep up with the meetings and to do much knitting. Also, I cut way back on my tatting. But I continued to demonstrate tatting, and still do so today Of course, I never dreamed, back in 1989, I'd have something called a "blog"!

“The Eagle Has Landed” afghan from 1989.

9 squares down, 7 squares across.

Measures 48” x 63” (including fringe)

This is one of the eagle motifs I was working on, which appear on 31 of the squares, done with gold colored yarn.

The eagles are ‘embroidered’ over top of the white knitted stitches, and follow (or “duplicate”) the direction of the V-shaped knitted stitches.

I added the commercially made official Apollo 11 patch (shown at the beginning of this post) to emphasize the subject of the afghan. In addition, I added a label on the back of the afghan, which has the cross-stitched phrase “The Eagle has Landed” (1969-1989)” .

Controversy over the Apollo patch, at a judged exhibit!
In September 1989, I entered the afghan in a local fair. However, I found out, after I won a “Second” ribbon for it, that a ‘conference’ had been called among the judges concerning the addition of the commercial Apollo 11 patch, and whether it should be ‘allowed’! Amusing, yes? Apparently common sense prevailed, and they didn’t ‘disqualify’ the afghan. Actually I felt lucky to win a “Second” ribbon because it isn’t as perfectly sewn together as I would have liked.

And the month of July also has another important ‘tatting’ date for me.

July 31 will be by first ‘blogaversary” ! I am vowing to finally get around to describing how I actually learned to tat. (I know you’re all waiting with bated breath :-) ! I’ve ‘promised’ to do this before in several blog posts, but I have never quite gotten 'a round tuit'! I HAVE worked on drafting the story, and am I’m trying to keep it as concise as possible (difficult for me LOL!), It’s not that dramatic, but learning to tat was a huge accomplishment for me (and for many of us!), and it was amazing how all of a sudden, everything fell into place.

* * * * * * * * * * * *
A ‘moon watch’ irony: It may be that the moon will not be visible at all on the 20th, to those of us in the northern hemisphere !


TattingChic said...

UGH!!! Am I really that OLD!? I guess I am. Yes, I remember that eventful day, however I was tiny, tiny! Most people can't remember stuff from that young, but oh, no...not me! I can remember that! My neighbors had a telescope and they brought it over to our front porch so we could look through it to see if we could "see" the astronauts! I still remember looking through it and seeing the surface of the moon.

Your afghan is lovely and that is some very intricate stiches there with your knitting! Very impressive! You are an amazing needleworker!

I wanted to let you know that I'm having a giveaway! Be sure to come on over and join in!

Lace-lovin' Librarian - Diane said...

It was my first summer at college, and the dorm lobby was filled with students watching t.v. I still watch launches whenever I can... they're amazing! I remember watching my first rocket being launched when I was little. We were all gathered around our little black and white t.v.

The afghan is beautiful! Back then the only thing I did was crochet squares for baby blankets. I sure have learned a lot since then! I wish I could recall when I learned to tat.

Thanks for the wonderful post!

tattrldy said...

Something as momentous as the first walk on the moon to have as a link to your learning to tat - wow! Okay, the 20th anniversary of, but what a way to remember when you learned. Love your post (you always have such interesting ones!)

tattrldy said...

And your afgan looks great! I just love those eagles.

Szydełko i spółka said...

I read your blog, watch all the things you've made and WOW! All the things are so beautiful! I love your work!
Best regards, Aggie.

This is my site if you want to watch my work: