Tuesday, August 30, 2005

My Knitting Heritage

I come from a long line of knitters. This didn't dawn on me until recently. Soon after my mother saw that the knitting bug "stuck", she gave me these two sweaters. Being a new knitter, I didn't really look at them closely or appreciate them. Now that I know what it involves to create a sweater, I look at them in a totally new light.

The red sweater that my DD is wearing was knit by my mother's grandmother (my great-grandmother) for her to wear when she was a little girl. So, I'm guessing that the sweater is about 55 years old. If you were able to see it up close, you would notice that it looks like it had been knit just yesterday. The seaming is flawless. You can't see where she wove in an end. I'm telling you it is exquisite.

The blue sweater my grandmother knit for me. I would estimate its age at around 27 years old. I can remember picking out the buttons, which are porcelain with tiny yellow flowers painted on them. I think I may have picked out the colors too.

The final picture is of the baby blanket my mother knit for my daughters. It absolutely takes my breath away. She originally bought the pattern when she was pregnant, but when she found out that she was having twins (I have a twin brother) found the task too daunting.

When I told her we were trying to get pregnant, she started knitting this for me. When she heard the news that I was having twins, she kicked it into high gear. That's right people. She made TWO of these for me.

Please click on the pictures so you can see the details.

You can see the history of grandmothers making things for their granddaughters. I hope to carry on the tradition one day. I get a little choked up thinking about the amazing women looking down at me, or sitting next to me in the case of my mother, all united in our love of knitting.


Blogger Donna said...

What a wonderful story. The knitting is lovely, and your daughters are just so beautiful.

I'm a first generation knitter, so there are no stories like that in my family. Hopefully, my daughter will carry on the knitting tradition and maybe one day my grand daughters can share their story.

5:59 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Such a beautiful story Amy! Having a mom that knits is great isn't it? My mother used to make sweaters for me, too. Just last year she and I gave a baby sweater that she made for me to my newborn niece (Mom's first grandchild).

That blanket is amazing! Did you even dare to use them?

6:09 AM  
Blogger Mom (a.k.a. Mary Ann) said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:16 AM  
Blogger Mom (a.k.a. Mary Ann) said...

You made your mom a little weepy.

And what is this with the word verification thing to post a comment?! We oldsters have difficulty with techno-stuff. I had to do this post over to get it right.

6:21 AM  
Anonymous Rachel said...

Aw, what a sweet post. And what stunning knitted gifts. One of the things I like best about making handmade baby/child items is knowing that they'll last and last and maybe find their way onto children a generation or two down the road.

When I was about 12 my stepfather knitted me a gorgeous sweater. It was in very fine, heathered yarn and had a complicated, intricate pattern. It must have taken him FOREVER. It was 1989, though, and it didn't conform to my vague understanding of fashion, so I tossed it in my closet and never wore it and have no idea what happened to it. How I WISH I had that beautiful sweater now.

I think I'll go post on my own blog about this and stop using the comment section of your blog as a forum for a public examination of my personal history of guilt.

6:46 AM  
Blogger Lynette said...

what a lovely story! the sweaters are beautiful and the girls' are wearing them with pride. and that blanket is just breathtaking! you are so fortunate.

7:53 AM  
Blogger geoknitter said...

Oh, that's so adorable! My grandma stopped knitting a few years back and passed on an unfinished deep purple raglan with a gorgeous cable up the front. The last arm was about half done. I struggled for weeks to match her gauge as well as I could and finished up the arm for her. Now it's just about my favorite "comfy" sweater, although it's way too big for me!

7:57 AM  
Blogger Ali said...


What pride you must feel in your family history of knitters. The work is indeed exquisite, truly. Your Daughters are absolutely precious in their sweaters. You are blessed.

8:26 AM  
Blogger Joanna said...

Such a great story! I wish my family had a history like that, but there's none that I know of. Maybe I can start a family tradition! :)

8:36 AM  
Blogger Catherine Kerth said...

i loved that story:) and they are sooo beautiful, the girls will really treasure them when they get older...

10:18 AM  
Blogger sarah said...

Such talented women in your family. I am in awe of that baby blanket, your mom must be quite a knitter!

10:35 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Beautiful story! Have you thought about writing it down in a journal and having your mother write something about the genesis of the blankets she made? It's great to not only have the actual garment, but having the story and sentiments as well is wonderful.

1:53 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

That's such a wonderful story.

I LOVE the blanket *smiles* I don't suppose I could convince you to pass the pattern on??!! Hehe!

2:17 PM  
Blogger strangelittlemama said...

oh, this post made me tear up and miss my mom soooo badly! She was a knitter (and crocheter), too, and I often wish we could talk about it together.
Your mom is awesome!

3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a nice story. Your girls are just beautiful!

3:43 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

What a great story. I love the sweaters. The girls look so cute wearing them. And that blanket is beyond beautiful. Your family has a wonderful knitting tradition. I hope your daughters keep the tradition alive. =)

5:07 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

the sweaters are beautiful - and even more precious with the knowledge of their stories/backgrounds. and your mother's lace blanket - gorgeous!! what a beautiful gift!

11:21 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

beautiful stories, Amylovie! I hope to make a long line of knitters as I am planning to teach my nieces, my sisters, and maybe one day my own kids...

all of these knits are so lovely!

5:26 AM  
Blogger mommytonoah said...

Sigh...what a beautiful entry! I am a self taught knitter...my mom is more interested in her romance novels (hee!). My mom-in-law has made my son several sweaters...and I've packed them away once they've been outgrown, to give to my grandchildren as well.

I LOVE the blanket...your mom is super talented!

Have a great day!

6:03 AM  
Blogger knittingnurse said...

WOW. I mean, omagosh. Gee. Wow. WOOOWWW! The story is great and it is wonderful to find things about your family that 'connects' you more vividly to them. I loved reading the post but, the kicker was that baby blanket (not to say that there was anything wrong with the sweaters, they are Fab. ). HOLY COW!!!!!!!!! I can't even begin to imagine how FABULOUS of a knitter your mom is. Criminy! I've NEVER seen anything like that before. What a treasure your girls have to pass on to their children/grandchildren.

1:58 PM  
Anonymous Knit Chick said...

I can't believe how gorgeous both sweaters still are after all these years! Your mother is quite the phenominal knitter. That blanket is beautiful & so intricate. I can't believe she made TWO! Such wonderful heirlooms for your girls. It's so great that you are passing on the knitting tradition to them!

That's pretty cool that you have a twin & you had twins!

8:16 PM  
Blogger CarryFairie said...

BEAUTIFUL!!! I am in awe of the beauty of the knitted goods and the family tradition. Even made me tear up a bit.

My great-grandmother was a crocheter. I still have the red poncho she made me when I was 5 and the wedding dress she made for my barbie. I could never get the hang of crocheting, but I think the fiber obsession passed on. Even when her arthritis had set in (and badly) she still crocheted. She just moved on to potholders so they didn't have to be so intricate. To this day I still have a large box full of them, she was probably knitting up at least a few a day up until she passed away.

Thanks again for the sweet story...

7:18 AM  

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