Daily Archives: November 11, 2008

Legacy

I mentioned earlier that I come from a long line of crafters.  My mother and both her sisters in particular crocheted and knit when I was growing up.  (Some sewing happened too, as I recall.)  My maternal grandmother also knit and crocheted.  I treasure the baby blanket she made for my older daughter….she was in her 80s.  Unfortunately, besides the love of crafting and the ability, I seem to have inherited the family joints, but oh, well.  We can’t pick and choose!

My older daughter, the RockStar, knits when she feels like it (think big needles, fast projects, funky yarn).  My younger daughter, the Gothlet, has inherited not only the genetic craftiness (as applied to not only knitting and crocheting but ANYthing crafty; when she was about 5, she made laptop computers for everyone in the family out of paper, tape and yarn) but has also inherited what one might call ‘practical engineering’ genes (analytical, interested in figuring out what makes things work and not work) from grandfathers and great-grandfathers, a gene my brother got in spades. And I should mention that the girls come by it honestly from both sides; my husband’s mother crocheted them absolutely beautiful bedspreads before her death.

Anyway, a very tangible reminder of this crafting legacy came along when my maternal aunt visited a couple months ago.

Another of my aunts passed away earlier this year after being in poor health for a very long time.  Among other issues, she had diabetes, which for years and years she had ignored, with unfortunate but predictable consequences, including loss of vision.  Sadly, a couple of her joys, reading and the computer, were slowly stolen away by the diabetic vision loss.  But one pastime left to her for a long time, even when her vision was almost gone, was crocheting; and knitting when she had a little more vision.

My semi-namesake aunt brought down a sample of a number of knitted squares she had just found, that her sister, my Aunt Barb, had knit sometime in the past — who knows when?

Look at this:

Look at them together:

There are SIXTY of these squares! Each is roughly 11 inches square. The gauge varies a bit (though because much of it is garter stitch based, I think it’s not critical as they’ll stretch to fit and the number of rows is the same on each).  Some were dirty and a little whiffy.  Some looked like different colors of yarn.  The ‘poofs’ are not as poofy as they look in the picture, as I stuffed them to make them show; but I’m afraid the yarn is acrylic, and the poofy bits would probably take blocking to show to their best advantage.  So they will be floopy poofs.

After consultation (I thought washing and drying, then joining with mattress stitch in a coordinating cream acrylic, should make a twin-bed-size afghan roughly, 66 x 110 inches), my aunt washed the pieces and they cleaned up beautifully.  Except one.  She thinks my Aunt Barb’s eyesight was already going, because 59 pieces are cream-colored, and one is grey….

Dang.

Well, I guess they could make an afghan that’s 7 squares by 8 squares (77 x 88 inches), with a few squares left over.  A throw pillow with two squares?  And then the grey one is still the odd one out.  (As you might guess, the pattern has vanished into the mists of time.  My aunt doesn’t remember even having seen these before.)

Still, it’s pretty amazing to see these appear after so long.  These have to be pretty old, because Barb hadn’t knit for a long time.

Quite a legacy.

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Of course, the real legacy is the crafty love passed down through generations, isn’t it?  I am thankful for the generations I know and knew, and those I didn’t, who said “I love  you” with the work of their hands every day.  Just as much as the Gothlet did when she made me a paper laptop computer!

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And, today being Veteran’s Day, I am also thankful for the legacy of those who served; those I know and knew, and those millions I never will.  Years, tears, health, and life, all spent in the service of our country.  A legacy indeed.

Thank you.