Knitted memoirs of my grandmother

I wish I’d known my grandmothers better. They both died when I was young and I know very little about them – they suffer from Invisible Woman syndrome with every family story focusing exclusively on their husbands’ endeavours.

One grandmother, described as petite and beautiful  ‘pocket Venus’, was a talented knitter. I have a collection of children’s clothes she made. I think of the hours spent patiently click-clacking and admire the patience and skill, and marvel at the fact that they have outlasted her. However I dread the hand washing required after 10 minutes contact with a dirt-smeared toddler, so they don’t get worn much. 

I’ve converted one child’s cableknit jumper into a pillow, a little knitted memoir of my invisible grandmother.  

I couldn’t bear to cut the sleeves off and destroy it, so I merely tucked the sleeves inside and sewed up the armholes – this gives the pillow ‘ears’ where the shoulders were, like an old-fashioned grain sack.   

The pillow now resides on my boudoir chair (tell me, does any living soul call their bedroom a boudoir?) with graphic Florence Broadhurst cover.  Dirt covered toddlers are forbidden. 

And I’m finally going to brush up on my own click-clack skills with a long overdue knitting tutorial. Bring on the stitch and bitch.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Cathryn Gross on July 5, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    Love this post….i remember my grandmother knitting me about 10 pure wool jumpers when i was in year 11 at boarding school, and i never wore any of them…..before giving them to vinnies at the end of Year 12. TERRIBLE!!! I could be wearing them every day at the mo…..Thankfully i kept one which is stored with all my ski gear. Im sure it will outlast her and me. Bring on the stitch and bitch Soph.

    Reply

    • It’s so hard to appreciate anything as a teenager, I know exactly where you’re coming from… At least you gave them a second life by donating – there’s probably someone out there who found them at Vinnies and gave them a good home. Funnily enough, I’ve been scouring Vinnies for handknits with the aim of making a patchwork knitted rug from them, but so far I haven’t struck gold, just nylon. Let me know if you feel the urge to donate your last one!

      Reply

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