Monday, July 17, 2006

Grandma's stash.

We went through my grandmother's apartment this weekend, figuring out who would take what items — she really wanted her things to go to people she knew if possible. She had already told me she wanted me to have her knitting things. Most of what she had is redundant with what I have (or the things I have are higher quality), but I will try to use hers when possible. Maybe my niece will learn to knit one day and I can hand them on down.

First, of course, there were knitting needles and crochet hooks. Mostly unremarkable, but...

This is a steel crochet hook, marked in size "14", with my middle finger (no comment intended) for size. I can barely see the hook on this; I actually had to run my finger over it to be sure there was a hook here. This is how my grandmother and her mother (I think this was her mother's) created the amazing crocheted lace that they did. I'll show you some of that when I get it washed. Imagine entire 5' x 8' tablecloths made with this needle. It hurts my brain.

Grandma had told me that she had started to make a blouse, but that she would not be finishing it and that she'd leave it for me to finish. I found it — she did not have a huge stash, as she was low-income all her life (so couldn't afford to accumulate the mess that I have in just seven months of knitting!). And, indeed, there is her beginning of the blouse, and I even have her notes on it.

There's just one problem.

This yarn (Esslinger Wolle Geisha) is 85% acrylic, 15% mohair. This is not a good yarn for a blouse. It won't breathe at all. It would be lovely for a wrap or a throw. The color is hard to reproduce, but it's an orange-toned tan with some sheen to it.

I respect Grandma, but I might not use this for a blouse. It would be a shame to make something no one would ever wear. So we'll see.

Grandma had told me she had started a crocheted afghan, and ran out of yarn. This must be it. There are some unconnected squares that are already made, and a little bit of the background color left. I'm thinking I'll either use it as an inset in a larger afghan, or make it into a pillow. I'm not 'into' granny squares anymore (loved them as a child, and made dozens which are packed away in boxes, not made into anything), but I love Grandma's work.

This yarn (sorry about the blur) was bought by my aunt, Grace, on a trip to Italy. She was so excited to give it to Grandma, and I think a little disappointed that Grandma didn't use it. I think Grandma was intimidated :-) Grace dithered a bit about taking it — she used to knit, but doesn't knit anymore — and finally said, "You take it and make yourself something you'll like." I said, "How about if I take it and make something YOU will like." I've got an idea in mine for a sweater for her; I'll need more, and other, yarn (there are about ten balls of this, and I'd need about 20), but I have a thought about how to balance this intense color and do something nice. So — eventually.

Meanwhile, Laila enjoyed watching me unpack.


Jen said...

What wonderful treasures! I have my grandmother's crochet hooks, too, and I feel a special connection with her every time I use one.

Earin Marybird said...

Oh yes, I have a 14 and they are so small. I haven't used it in years and years but one day I will need it - I'm sure! I'm not sure though that my eyesight goes down that small any more.

I think that your Gran will understand that some things work for you and others don't. Just having her wanting you to have her things is a wonderful thing.

Jill said...

I love that you have your grandmas squares. I have some from my Grandmother as well. She recently gave them to me along with ALL her crochet hooks and tools. It's relly cool. I have 32 squares and probably enough of her spare yarn to make 2-5 more. It's Red Hard, all the colors are discontinued but ONE ;(