Confession #30

I'm here because of my Nana.

I make things with my hands because my grandmother taught me to crochet. When I was very little, I used to watch her whip up all kinds of awesome with a hook and some yarn, and I thought that more than anything I wanted to learn how to do that.

When I was 7 she started teaching me. She sat beside me, with a hook and some scrap yarn and showed me how to chain stitch. And she told me to practice my chain stitch until it was perfect. I had a ball of chain stitch the size of a softball before she would teach me another stitch! The lesson was, if you were going to take the time to make something, it may as well be your best effort.

For a loonnnnnnng time I crocheted. And made potholders with a loom looper and then cross-stitched. And my nana would always ask how it was coming along. I made her lots of things over the years.

Crocheted Pansy Afghan

Little Girl and Bunny Cross Stitch

She treated each thing with such loving care. She took the blanket to be blocked and pressed (I didn't know anything about that at the time) She had the little girl framed. Knowing what I now know about framing, I am even more touched by this gesture. 

Even the little things I made, she displayed in her home constantly and used often. She was my biggest fan. My most constant cheerleader. 

Angel in Prayer Wall Hanging

Crocheted shawl in her favorite color. 

In August of this year, we said goodbye to my Nan. Many of the things I had once given her as gifts have come back to me, and are even greater treasures now, having once been loved by her. The greatest gift, by far, is the gift of teaching my daughter. First to crochet, right when she was 7 of course....

 And now on the sewing machine.

Love you Nana.
xo allison


Anonymous said…
We have such similar up bringings....I learned to sew straddling the chair where my Mom sat and made most of my clothes at the sewing machine. I peeked over one shoulder then the other and by the time I could reach the pedal, I could sew!
My Nana sewed like a couturier! My Barbie clothes have bound button holes. My other Grandmother knitted like a pro. Her contribution to Barbie's wardrobe included cardigansweaters with angora collars and pearl buttons, pill box hats and knitted pleated skirts. I still have all this.
I created granny squares with Mom and Nana and we still have the first afgan we made together. We went on to create tiny ones for the doll house too.
I too learned to embroider with Nana and still have the first piece I owl on a branch which she had framed in an antique tray. Yes, we still have it.
And while I am using my hands now to paint and create in other ways, I have ALWAYS used my hands to make beautiful things and always wil.
Thank you Mom, Nana & Grandma Herbert.
Such a gift to give to your child...
PS My daughter Veronica started knitting at age 7. Was instrumental in sending 800 squares to knit a square in Africa to make blankets for children with AIDS. She still knits most of her gifts for her friends and often sells her work!
She is 19. She also has lots of friends who knit.
What a wonderful tradition to pass along.

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