Friday, April 15, 2011

Knit Together

In this era of consumption, owning an object that offers any significant emotional attachment can seem difficult.  Objects today seem to be either entirely utilitarian or completely frivolous.  Often there is only one object that offers any emotional connection to the owner or their past.  Growing up I knew that there were a few items that I cherished in this way. 

Of course, there was the usual stuffed animal, in my case a beret-wearing pink gorilla, named Pierre that my father bought for me which lead me to believe that my father was fluent in French (but that's a story for another day).  Just as important as Pierre was a christening shawl that was hand-crocheted by my great-grandmother, which I have photos of below. 

Through this shawl I always felt united with a great-grandmother that I never knew.  Growing up I heard stories from my maternal grandmother, my Nana, who lives with my parents.  I learned about the sort of woman that her mother was and the sort of young woman my Nana had been.  I learned that I wasn't so different from them.  Both of them were strong women who worked both in and out of the home, and both of them had knit, crocheted, and my great-grandmother had even made lace.  When I was about seven years old my Nana taught me to knit and I felt even more connected to the history of crafting I seem to have been born into. 

The craft didn't actually take until I was in my late teens, and I didn't learn to crochet at all until this year (I will be 26 on Sunday), but now my husband would confirm that I have something bordering between an obsession and an addiction for crafting. 

I wasn't lucky enough to have known my paternal grandmother and I live many miles from my father's extended family but I do know that crafting extends to all the ladies on that side too, so it seems my "addiction" was inevitable.  Last year when I got married my mother presented me with an elaborately crocheted lace weight cotton table cloth that my father's sister had made for me when visiting from Europe when I was just an infant.  A couple of years prior to that, when I was visiting another of my father's sisters, I was given a hand crocheted shawl that had been made just for me. 

It really isn't any wonder that yarn hides in my every spare space, and patterns I want to try float through my head long after I've seen them - it seems to be in my genes.  I have to be honest - I haven't exactly entirely figured out what I'm doing with this blog, but for now it is one extra outlet for my obsession and perhaps the next generation's way of perserving family history.  Either way, I intend to have fun with it, and I hope everyone who reads it does too.