Thursday, 20 November 2014

Knitting a Family Tradition

I wanted to write a little bit about my current knitting project as there was a special reason for this project, which is to do with family.

My Dad's family have always lived abroad, they moved to New Zealand before I was born.  His Mum, Dad, two brothers and two Aunts all emigrated.  Obviously my Dad didn't go and I'm speculating that was because he had just got married and had a good job.

So we didn't see much of his family, in fact I never met my Grandad.  But, Grandma would come over from time to time and when she did she would knit things for me and my sister.  I still have a poncho and some of the dolls clothes she knitted for me.

My Great Aunt Lily, Grandma's sister, was the person who taught me to knit and crochet. 

Earlier this year my Grandma reached 100 years old. 

This is Grandma at her party at the retirement village where she lived in Australia.  My Dad and my Step-Mum went over and she had a great time surrounded by her family and friends.  She was even in the local paper.

Unfortunately not long after her birthday her health deteriorated and she died in September.  She had a long and happy life and so I am not sad, only sad that I didn't know her better.

Not long after she died my cousin, who I have never met, gave birth to a baby boy and so I decided that I would like to knit a blanket for the baby.  It seemed like a nice thing to do and I felt it gave me some connection to the family and particularly to my Grandma.

As the blanket is nearly finished I contacted my Aunt and told her what I was doing and asked where to send the blanket to. 

My Aunt was thrilled as she doesn't knit and told me Grandma had got the ladies together where she was living and they used to knit constantly, beanies for the troops in Afghanistan, items for the local children's hospital and baby items galore.  But my favourite of all; she liked to crochet "knee blankets for the elderly".

You've got to love the spirit of a woman at 100 years old making items for the elderly, apparently it was said without irony as she never saw herself as old. 

I'm hoping I have some of her spirit and humour when I get to that age.........

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