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found // the stitch marker that nearly made me cry

StitchMarker

My grandma was an avid knitter. "Nanny" made everything from sweaters and baby buntings, to dozens of blankets or countless washcloths. She taught me to knit, and I only wish had learned even more from her when I could.

She did her knitting in a chair that now sits in our living room and where I now often sit when I stitch. When she reached her 90s, she was still knitting, though the washcloths were now the most complicated things she would tackle, so imagine my surprise when I found a stitch marker deep in the crevice beside the cushion.

I had dropped a pattern piece and in fishing it out I found the tiny ring. She's been gone for several years, so it must have been there for at least four years, though likely much longer. Finding it was like finding Nanny right there crafting alongside of me.

Do you have artists or crafters in your family tree? Do you have things that make you feel close to them and the things they made?

23 comments:

  1. My Nan was an awesome knitter and crocheter too. Loved your story about finding the stitch marker - it is so lovely that your Nanny's skills and joy in crafting have been passed down to you.

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  2. I use my grandmother's knitting needles and crochet hooks regularly. And I've also inherited lots of sewing things from my husband's grandmother. I love the idea of using their carefully collected buttons on clothes for my girls. A way of joining the generations that never knew each other.
    My most surprising find has been 2 baby teeth in a tin of buttons. We think that my husbands' grandms saved his and his brothers teeth. They could be a generation older, though ... we'll never know for sure!

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  3. My grandma always had fresh cookies when I went to her house. I now have her sifter and I always think of her when I use it.

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  4. My mother was a crocheter, a knitter and a seamstress. From her I still keep some crochet hooks, and the rulers she used to make patterns for sewing clothes.

    But the thing I keep that makes me feel closer to her (I lost my mother when I was only 16 years old) is a tiny hat and a pair of baby booties she made in crochet. because it takes me back to my childhood, when I used to sit beside her watching her crochet.

    Oh, and I also keep in very good shape the 1906 Singer sewing machine, where she made so many of my childhood clothing :)

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  5. That´s a really lovely story!
    My grandma died before I went to school, but she made me a pullover back then and I keep it in memory of her. Moreover, our potato masher was hers and I love it as I always remember her when I use it. Unfortunately, I do not have any knitting needles, patterns or anything from her as I was to small when she died.

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  6. Aw, this is so sweet, Molly! I bet she is always right there with you crafting alongside of you! Happy Monday xxx

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  7. What a great story! I never met my grandmother, but my mom often talks about how she would knit up hats for my mom and uncle super quickly -- during the night while they slept! When I was young, I loved looking through her old knitting needles which my mom had saved.

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  8. I have needles, thread, and a pincushion from my aunt Joan's sewing kit. I had to throw away the basket as it was falling apart. Some of my grandmother's things were in there so I sometimes think of her when I'm stitching. My mother made sure to save these things for me when she was cleaning out my grandfather's house so that my sister could move into it and make it her own :)

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  9. oh, who a wonderful find! I have inherited many of my grandmother's knitting tools, including these silly little curler pins that she often used for cable needles and stitch holders. they wouldn't be worth anything to anyone else, but to me, they are treasures.

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  10. Awww... that made me tear up too! So sweet! My grandma on my mom's side who lived next door to us did a lot of crochet and quilting.... but of course, when I was young it wasn't "cool" to be spending time with grandma learning how to craft so I didn't want anything to do with it. She's been gone since '96 and I've been kicking myself the last several years for not learning from her when I had the chance. My mom did embroidery and she's gone also :( I was so dumb when I was a teenager!!! :(

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  11. My grandma taught me to sew and embroidery. I could make her treadle Singer "sing" (as she called) as well as she did. Thanks to her you can't tell my embroidery for hers. She told me, "Just make sure the back looks as good as the front and your doing it right.". And she taught me to bake from scratch! I can do that too, just as the firefighters at my Hubby's fire station. I was lucky, she lived with us from the time I was born till she was almost 90. Cooling was the one thing I did not follow her in and I don't like to cook. That why I married a fire fighter. Boy, do I miss her.

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  12. So, you nearly cried, and I did cry.

    I have a sewing tin that was Grandma's that my dad gave to my brother, of all people, who gave it appropriately to me. That her hands touched the items, snipped off the too-long apron shoulder straps, didn't yet complete the crocheted edging of a cotton hanky, and saved all those World War II buttons... Oh. I sure miss that beautiful lady.

    Hugs, Mollie.
    Kelley~

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  13. What a lovely story. I had a Nanny too, but she was most definitely NOT a crafter. No crafty grandma on the other side too and my mother was rather anti-crafty. I'm not sure where the impulse came from, but my sister and I are now self-taught sewists and so loving it. We did have a great aunt "Ha Ha," who used to crochet. I keep a shawl she made in my sewing room to throw around my shoulders when it is cool out. It makes me remember her and her crazy old house with all the piles of dolls with crocheted clothes and the player piano and great big old creaky front porch.

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  14. Molly, what a great story and topic! I feel when we come across little things such as this, it's a great reminder that their spirit is most definitely here, although their physical body is gone.

    My great grandma used to always have plastic canvas and yarn around. Often when we'd visit I'd ask her to help me thread my plastic needle and off I went! While I'm at the craft store I usually walk past plastic canvas and I without fail a little smile makes it way to my face!

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  15. Oh Mollie! I love your story, it is so sweet! All of the women in my family sew, crochet, quilt, or embroider. My sister passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in March 2013. My family gave me her car, and on my graduation day for my Bachelor's degree last May I found a long stick pin on the floor mat of the car. It was one of my sister's quilting pins! It had a heart on the end of it, and was in a place on the floor mat that I had looked at about a hundred times before. I stuck it in the sun visor and every time I see it I am reminded of my sister's love for me, and her love of quilting.

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  16. Friends! I am so very much loving reading your stories of these connections to loved ones!

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  17. Such a wonderful find

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  18. Oh, how lovely Mollie! My grandmother is a huge crafting influence in my life. She's still around and still knitting competition winning stuff. I have some things she has made me that I will treasure forever. The smell of chamomile tea still reminds me of crafting with her as a kid.

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  19. Mollie, that is so sweet and wonderful. I have treasures like that. Silly things that mean nothing to anyone but me. [Grand]Mama taught me to sew and embroider. Her crochet wasn't perfect but I had some pretty rad Granny square vests in the early 1970's! And still have a bunch of afghans she made for me.

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  20. Núria12:57 PM

    Mollie, what a wonderful history, thanks for sharing it with us! :)

    My iaia Regina (my father's mother) was an avid crocheter and knitter, and she also did some beautiful sewing. She taught me, my sisters and my cousins to knit and sew. My cousin Ferran makes beautiful knitted blankets during his spare time in the fire station. :)

    My older sister and I kept all her crochet hooks and knitting needles, and I use them regularly. I also kept her sewing machine (which is way too powerful for my sewing skills, but I have so many fond memories of her using it that I just cannot bear to part with it).

    I keep some of the last pieces she knitted for me (even if some do not fit anymore, they must have shrink... is it not possible that I have put so much weight on!).

    Now I am in the process of teaching my own little girl to sew, and I feel it would make my iaia very happy to see her craft being passed to the next generation. :)

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  21. Georgia3:21 AM

    Dear Mollie, what a wonderful post!
    I come from a crafters' family and spiritually I feel very close to my grandmother's sister. She didn't have her own family but we were calling her grandma as if she was our real grandmother and we loved her like our real grandmother. Unfortunately, I have seen her only once in my life because we were living in different countries and she died when I was 8. She was doing professional embroidery, either in machine or in hand. E.g. she was embroidering initials at men's shirts or beautiful designs on pillow cases and sheets. Her work was unique and beautiful. I only have two pillow cases from her which make me think of her and imagine her embroidering in Istanbul, where she used to live. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about her.

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  22. My great grandma and great aunt were both big quilters, unfortunately I was too young when they were alive to be interested. We also have a ton of crocheted snowflake ornaments and doilies that my great grandma made. I wish I had the opportunity to be taught by her!

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  23. Anonymous1:32 PM

    That's cool! Both of my grandmas were did crochet and I just found a crochet hook amongst my craft things that must have belonged to one of them. It's really nice to have it!

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