Wednesday, September 3, 2014
WIP Wednesday - and why my Grandma is the craziest knitter I know
Take a look at this weeks Work In Progress. Soak that in for a minute. This is my newest WIP to work on. Yes, newest. That's because I have been given the daunting task of finishing this blanket. I have been given the Mother of all knitting projects, or rather the Grandmother of all knitting projects.
My Aunt Merry called me last week and asked me if I could come out to her house and take a look at some projects that my Grandma hadn't finished before she passed away in 1999. What a wonderful idea. I love the thought of being close to my Grandma again. I already feel very connected to her any time my knitting needles are in my hand. The idea of finishing her projects seems more special than I can even put in to words. I was excited as I drove out to my aunts house. I had no idea what was in store, no idea the magnitude of these projects.
I knew my Grandmother was a crazy ass knitter. I remember her knitting throws for the couches and afghans that were folded up at the ends of all the beds, but this is truly crazy. This is a whole new level of knitted blanket. With 510 stitches across and already 522 rows, in the end this will be a queen size bed spread. Oh, and those 510 stitches are held on 32in circular needle. That's a TON of stitches in a very small space. I will have to change the needles out before I start working. The metal needles my Grandma used are hell on my hands, never mind the horrible acrylic yarn.
We believe that she started this blanket around 1990, 9 years before she passed. I can't even imagine working on something for 9 years. I can't say exactly what the pattern is or where she got it from. However, I did find a dishcloth pattern on Ravelry.com called Ballband Dishcloth that seems to be the same.
My Grandmother, Marion Rose, didn't just knit blankets, she also knit sweaters. Here's a picture of my Grandmother with all my aunts, showing off there hand knit sweaters. Aren't they just beautiful? My Mother is on the far right, everyone says I look just like her. What do you guys think?
Born in 1933, I had imagined my Grandma as a little girl learning to knit in order to help the war effort. This was not the case. Up until my Grandma was in her 30's, our family had all been seamstresses and quilters. This was how they clothed our family, not with knitting. I have to admit, it is much faster. It wasn't until roughly 1960 that my grandma picked up the needles. The term "never not knitting" could have been coined after my Grandma. In between raising 4 kids and working a full time job, she managed to crank out sweater after sweater and more blankets than any family could actually need.
Here she is in 1950, this was her "engagement" photo. I am so in love with this picture.
Last night, when I was talking to my Mom about writing this post, she told me to "Be nice" when talking about how crazy Grandma was. She said "you know she's on your shoulder whenever you are knitting" Well, I sure hope that is true. I'm going to need some Devine intervention in order to finish this.
So, are your crafts inspired by family? Is there anything you do in your life that makes you feel connected to your family's past? Would you take on the task of finishing something that someone else started? This may be a crazy project, but I'm just crazy enough to do it.