Sunday, August 14, 2011

Passing Knitting On

First, we did the birthday celebration last night and my mom loved the towels. My husband had said she will never use them because they look too nice. Sure enough, the first thing that she said was, no one is allowed to use these. She did promise to use them and wash them to soften them up. Here is a picture of her and my son, who is so happy to be taller than his grami.

I'm in a knitting discussion group, won't mention which one since I'm mostly a lurker - I don't think I have every posted. Lately they have been having an impassioned discussion on passing knitting on - should it be taught in schools, is it genetic, should we force our kids to learn, why didn't our moms teach us, etc… People are very passionate about it and sometimes in major disagreement. And this has been going on for over a week now.

I don't have strong opinions on most of those things. I'm too practical, with all the things kids have to learn now and the budget situation, adding knitting to the curriculum is not happening any time soon. But it did get me thinking about how I learned.

My mom's mom was a great needleworker. She sewed, crocheted, knitted, embroidered, quilted, you name it. She didn't use patterns and I don't ever recall her swatching or writing things down - thought to be honest as she got older that wasn't always such a good thing. When I was five she taught me to crochet and embroider. My best memories of her are of doing hand work with her. My mother laughs and says it skips a generation because she doesn't have interest in anything crafty. During college, I went back to crochet. I always liked the look of knitting better so I got a book and taught myself when I got out of college.
So in honor of my grandma who first shared with me the love of making things, here are a couple of pictures of things she left me. The runner above is knitted - not sure what she was going to do with it - possibly cafe curtains but I use it on a sideboard.  It was the last thing she made.

This is her workbasket - still perfectly serviceable after 50 plus years!

This is the box she kept all her thread in.  Who knows how long she had it.  It is probably 80 years old.  I keep my thread in it now too and needles as you can see.  When I got it, it still had spools of thread in it on wooden spools.  But I was in a practical moment and threw them out - surely the thread wasn't still good.  Occasionally, engineering training kicks in and overrules more sentimental thinking.  I wish I had those spools now.
I couldn't find a picture of her to share.  I have one from the thirties which is a formal picture.  She was beautiful.  I'm not sure where it is
now but it has to be here somewhere.  Even I wouldn't throw that out!

Who taught you to love making things?


  1. Love this post, made me all sentimental about the female relatives in my family.

  2. Aw, it's so nice to see knitting treasures passed down :)