Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Stitch In Time

For as long as I can remember, we've always had a blanket that was crocheted by my grandmother. We had one in our house when I was little that had green, yellow, orange and brown zig zags. When I went to college she made me one in my school colors. She even made SOB one in his school colors, even though we were only dating at the time and he went to Penn State, a school which my Pittsburgh family despised. She made them for my babies, and she even made some for my nephews! In our house we have the two large college ones, and then a bevy of smaller baby ones. We have blue, green, pink, white, purple, yellow and a blue-green mix. Here are most of them:


She's now hard at work on ones for two of my cousins, who are graduating high school this year. But as she gets older, it takes her a little longer each time to finish them. Plus she's been sick a lot the past two years, and so she has to spend time at the doctor's instead of making blankets. As sad as it is to think about, just like everyone else she's going to die someday, and because of her health issues it might be sooner than later.

In the past few months, without any prompting or organization, some of my relatives began taking on the task of learning some of her more notable family contributions. My dad has become the family pirogi man, my uncle Tom makes cabbage rolls and my husband, of all people, has started making her nut roll. He took pictures of her recipe cards when we were at their house over the holidays and made sixteen of them!

One night, half drunk on nut roll, I had a dream about the baby blankets. I knew as soon as I woke up that I was going to learn how to make them. So last week I marched myself off to Michael's and bought a 'I Taught Myself to Crochet!' kit that was totally geared towards pre-teens, and two balls of yarn. I watched this YouTube video and I was off!

After making no less than four triangles (I kept missing the extra stitch at the end of each row) I finally made a square of crocheted yarn. And then a rectangle! And then, well, it's not quite wide enough to be a scarf, so let's just call it a bath robe belt, shall we? Lucy loves it and wears it around the house all night, but I won't let her wear it outside for fear she might accidentally hang herself. But I'm already hard at work on my next project, which is an actual scarf of proper dimensions.

Hopefully by the time someone in my family is having a baby, I'll be up to the task of making an entire blanket!

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Chrissie said...

Good crocheting, Amy! It is so special each member of your family is learning from your grandma and carrying on her traditions. She must be so touched! My mom's mom used to crochet and we all still have the blankets she made us as children. In the last year, my mom took some of those blankets to a "crochet tutor", who taught her how to replicate the stitch my grandma used to do. It's neat to see the next generation of blankets being made with my grandma's stitch.

Juan's grandmother, although she has no great grandchildren yet, has knitted over 20 little sweaters for her great grand children who will come to be. She wanted to make sure each grandchild had a sweater for their future children, even if it is many many years from now. It is such a beautiful tradition to carry on and share with loved ones, even those who are not born yet! :)

Arizaphale said...

I am impressed. Crocheting is one craft I never mastered although I can knit a mean sweater. It is a shame as there are some beautiful patterns too. As Chrissie says, it is wonderful the way everyone is picking up a 'piece' of your Grandmother's heritage. Her legacy to you all. Of such stuff are memories made.....