Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Something Old. . .

If you have been a reader for at least a few posts, you may have guessed this about me. I am nostalgic. . .I love that I have a past, and I love that I have things from my past to remind me where I come from. This is the same trait that makes me a wannabe "pack rat," so my loving husband is careful to help me in my endeavors to not collect and keep so many "memories" that we cannot move through our home! There are, however, some items that I still hang onto, getting around the pack rat issue by keeping these items in use, as much as I can! This is one of my favorites:
A shawl that my grandmother crocheted, my dad's mom, probably sometime in the 70s. It looks like a modified, triangular version of a granny square in design, and the yarn is some mohair-looking, fuzzy acrylic in blues and greens and oranges and browns. It goes with a lot. Well, I guess it would be more accurate to say that it did go with a lot. . .you know, in the 70s. The fringe dates it a little, the actual color dates it a little more, and the acrylic yarn (whose "fibers," in this case, actually look shiny and plastic) really dates the thing! But I still wear it. I actually wore it to work today, and I took these pictures when I arrived. This shawl is not particularly soft. . .as a matter of fact, I have a short-sleeved top on, and the yarn was pretty itchy againt my skin. And this shawl is not stunning in its stitchery. . .it's a pretty basic, double-crochet deal. . .with fringe. And this shawl does not make my friends envy my possesion of it. I even have some friends who will poke a little fun at me when I wear it. (Of course, there are some who also think that it is beautiful.) I love this shawl because my grandma made it. I love this shawl because this same grandma taught me to crochet granny squares, and she gave me yarn and hooks. I love this shawl because it helps me to remember that my grandma was not always the bitter old woman who lived with my family following a series of strokes, and generally interrupting my teenage years when I thought she really had no right to be there. This shawl represents the grandma that taught me yarn skills, and always had candy in the candy dish, and open arms for a hug when we visited. . .the grandma who took us on walks in the city, and shopping, and on a bus trip that one time to see the Passion Play in Pittsburgh (Father Marino on buses, oh my!). . .the grandma who had a little chihuahua named Tiny (before chihuahuas were fashionable), an old dog with no teeth left, that yipped and snapped at us while we dressed him up in doll clothes for a ride in the doll buggy. This shawl helps me to remember that grandma, and the pure love she lived for my sister, my cousins and me. As I wear the shawl today, I am struck (not for the first time) that perhaps it is not perfect as a fashion choice in 2010. So, I have taken some photos here, and I hope I can also find one of my grandma for the scrapbook later this week, and perhaps I will retire this old friend from my wardrobe. I love old things, I love good memories, and I love that perhaps someday, I will be the grandma. Until then, I will knit and crochet for the small and big people that happen through my life, casting on and stitching love into each knit and purl and single- and double-crochet.

And my family sometimes gets that. And sometimes not. You should see (and hear) me now as I knit random sleeves now to finish off the Brothers and Sisters Sweaters… “Look! I finished a sleeve!,” I shout during American Idol. And my family rolls their collective eyes, and the well-trained College Girl says, with eyebrows appropriately raised and head nodding, “That’s a niiiii-iice sleeve, Mom…it will look really good sewn in…but you could even just give away the sleeve, it is so well done…,” just before casting a knowing glance in her father’s direction…and I wait patiently, knowing for certain that today must be the day that “They’re coming to take me away!, Haha!, HoHo! HeeHee!…”

While I wait for the men in the white coats, I hope that you will
Knit in Good (mental) Health!


  1. OH that is sweet...I have some old quilts that were my grandma's I pull them out and admire them from time to to time myself!

    Love, Love LOVE the monkey sweaters! They are adorable!

  2. Another thought for the Shawl. It looks like an interesting border style...maybe stitch up a similar shawl in an updated yarn and color? Then it will remind you of your gram still, but will be more appropriate for your modern wardrobe.

  3. :-) Good memories are the bestest, but even so, it may be time to let the old shawl out to pasture, where it can graze happily on...gee, Twinkies maybe. There's a certain synthetics quotient in Twinkies that should make it feel comfy. And just keep in mind that when the dear little men come with the attractive jacket - YOU HAVE POINTY STICKS.