As many of you already know, my Mom and her Mom, my Grandma, were knitters. My Mom was a very gifted and talented person who could do and make anything. She painted, sewed, knit and crocheted, just to name a few.
Painted ~ not just painted, she was an artist. I have many of her stunning oil paintings; birds, flowers, and scenery. What I remember most is the paintings she did every Christmas on our dining room window. She would use glass cleaner to outline (or sketch) her work. Then she would spend a couple of weeks using acrylics to create that years masterpiece. Every year she did a new painting. Some were scenes, others were of Santa or Frosty-something cute. Her most famous one was of a stained glass window. People would drive for miles just to see what painting she put up that year. When Christmas ended and the decorations came down the window was washed off, the painting was gone forever.
Sewing was her passion, her love. She used the same Singer sewing machine her entire life. Nothing fancy, but she could make anything on it. I remember sitting on bolts of fabric waiting for her while she shopped. I loved my beautiful wool pleated skirts she made me for school. We never had a store-bought Halloween costume. Our costumes always won a prize. One year my sister wanted to be “thing” from the Adams Family TV show and she was. When I got married, she made all of my bridesmaids dresses and their headpieces along with my headpiece.
Mom’s knitting was also something special. Intarsia intimidates many people, but my Mom always needed a challenge. She made each of her four children hand knit stockings. When we got married our spouses were given a stocking, then each of our children received one after they were born. Some of the stockings were from patterns, others were charted designs of her own. These stockings are part of our family tradition.
My Mom passed away a few years ago just before Christmas. On her deathbed she was worried about who would carry on the tradition. I, as the only knitter in the family, promised her that I would. I had never done any intarsia knitting before, nor had I ever made a stocking. I was not looking forward to knitting my first stocking, but I knew this was important to my mother or she would never have mentioned it. I knew I would never be able to live up to my Mom’s reputation of producing such high quality work, but I was determined to keep my promise.
Family members didn’t let me wait very long before needing a stocking. The first year after her death we had both weddings and new babies. I believe I made more than ten stockings that first year. Since then I have made many more. I would never have attempted such an enormous undertaking on my own. It took my mom’s faith in me for me to even try.
I didn’t appreciate all my mom did and was until I didn’t have her around anymore. I miss her more than words can say.
Today is Mom’s Day – Happy Mother’s Day to Mom’s everywhere. Have a good day and happy knitting!