About living a creative life in a small commuity approximately 300 kilometres above the Arctic Circle

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

From Grandma's archives

My mother's mother wasn't a wealthy woman. She left her husband in 1952 and chose to live by herself with four kids from 2 to 12 years old. She didn't have any education beyond primary school and she must has struggled more than you can imagine. She was a thrifty woman, saved everything that could be reused and even the tiniest little piece of yarn was put to use in a way.

About ten years after her divorce she bought the house her parents had lived in before they died. Her kids, at that point grownups, helped to pay the expenses. One of her sons lived with her for a long a she lived, but that must also have been a challenge, because of his chronical illness. Her economic situation improved when she turned 67 and was allowed pension from Folketrygden (the official Norwegian sosial security system). But still she used everything twice if it was possible.

Because of this, books wasn't something she put alot of money in. Probably she considered them not important enough to be prioritized in her budget. Except for some old schoolbooks and books my uncle bought, there wasn't many books for us to look through when we visited. My Grandma was a very intelligent woman with a lot of knowledge and it must have been hard for her not to be able to develop her skills further.

For her 70 or 75th anniversary she got a wonderful book from my aunt. It was a crafts book, explaining techniques and patterns in all sorts of crafts. She covered it with paper to protect it and it was almost a sacred moment when we sat down to look at the different patterns and garments. It even had a black-and white picture of a hexagon quilt. When my Grandma died, the book was given back to my aunt. But for my 30th anniversary I received a quite heavy, rectangular gift. It awas the book! Because I'm the one in our family that cares most about crafts, my aunt wanted me to have it.

Yesterday I was looking through some of my books in search of a pattern for a kind of lace knitting I'm thinking about, I found the book and opened it. The patterns where as lovely as they where 25 years ago. I decided to put all my other projects on hold and try out a couple of them. Since I haven't done any other kind of knitting the last years except for my mittens, it was quite a challenge to follow the patterns, but I did have a great time making the swatches. And it sure was nice to think about my Grandma again.

Inga

8 comments:

Maya Madhavan said...

It was lovely reading about your grandmother. Thanks for sharing.

The swatches look great! Makes me want to get back to doing some knitting myself. I am at a weird point now - having finished a quilt, I am itching to start on something but I can't make up my mind as to what!

The Calico Cat said...

How wonderful. My great grand-mother was a quilter & I often think of her (even though she dies when my grand-mother was a child) while I quilt.

BTW My grand-mother used everything twice and then some...

Hanne said...

Thanks for sharing Inga Helene :-) Our grandmothers were masters of making do.

Laurie Ann said...

What a special memory and an extra special gift. Very neat!

Patty said...

Such a nice story about your grandmother and how nice you have that special book.

Sweet P said...

What a wonderful story. Our grandmothers and older generations are sometimes forgotten. I often think of my grandma when I am quilting. She is the one who taught me to sew, crochet, needlepoint and bead work. Now I am patiently waiting for a DGD to teach crafts to. Someday . . .

Judy said...

Always wonderful to remember a loved one with something they treasured!! The blocks look great and grandma would have approved!

Elizabeth said...

What a treasure that book must be to you.

elizabeth
http://elizabeth-themerryrose.blogspot.com