Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Frieda's 111th Birthday + Color by Kristin Yarn Giveaway

I was lucky to have had my grandma Frieda play a large part in my early life. When my 4 sisters and I were small, we would frequently be dropped off at her home while my mom went to a church meeting or one of the other organizations she was involved in. Gram lived across town from us and frequently came to our home to care for us. Every Christmas she would make us all matching flannel nightgowns often trimmed with hand tatted lace which my great grandmother made by the yard and Gram had held onto for years. On Christmas eve, she would arrive with the 5 boxes and we would rip them open, put on the nighties, and Dad would take the annual photo with our pug dog Pixie. 

Frieda Roessler Nicholas in her early 80's sitting on her sunporch

Frieda Roessler Nicholas immigrated from Thalheim, Germany when she was 10 years old. When she arrived in America, speaking no English, she and her parents became part of the large German immigrant population in Dover, NJ. She learned English and graduated from the 8th grade. She then went to work at Gunther's Hosiery Mill adding the tops to silk stockings. She married my grandfather Arch who was from an English immigrant family in 1920. She worked at the hosiery factory until she had her first child Harry in 1923 and then later my Dad Arch in 1928. After her husband died in 1950, Gram went to work at a local elementary school and ran the school cafeteria. Gram wasn't a book educated woman but she was constantly reading, expanding her knowledge and interests. She was a big fan of PBS, Masterpiece Theatre and Prevention Magazine.

Gram was an amazing quilter, embroiderer, gardener, sewer, baker, and cook but what I remember her doing the most was crocheting. When I was about 10 years old, she taught me to crochet and for years, I made ponchos (it was the 70's), scarves, bags, and whatever else was featured in those great oversized "McCall's Needlework and Crafts" magazines which I used to spend hours pouring over when Mom brought them home from the grocery store. As a teen, I did many crafts - embroidery, needlepoint, crochet, but sewing was my main interest. I spent hours and hours cutting out patterns, sewing blouses, jackets, pants, skirts, coats while watching my favorite NY Mets on our old black and white t.v.

Gram with her Christmas Stollen - still a tradition in our family
Whenever Gram would come over, I would show her my latest project. Gram was my most encouraging and positive fan - my biggest cheerleader. I can still hear her say "Oh, Kristin, you are so clever" in her understated voice. If I was ever having a bad day, Gram would make me feel better. When I went away to college and graduate school, Gram wrote me letters weekly in her beautiful cursive and I wrote her back. Her letters were full of what she was cooking, baking, and doing in her garden. A couple months ago, I found those letters and sat down and teared up as I read through them.


This summer Mom gave me a beat-up gold recipe box. I didn't know what it was and opened it. In it was Gram's handwriting on 3 x 5" index cards. I have poured through the recipes several times, recognizing handwriting from other family members who had contributed to the box. It is a treasure and I hope one day I can organize it, try out many of the recipes, and put them down in some kind of format to share with the other women and cooks in our family. (Thank you Fernando for taking care of this box for all these years and for thinking of me!)


So this week, we are celebrating what would have been Gram's 111th birthday with a Color By Kristin Giveaway. Gram always loved a good contest; during the Depression, she won a washing machine and frequently told us that she had only been lucky once. Here's what I have for you all - one 25 gram ball of the twenty colors of my Color By Kristin Yarn, courtesy of Classic Elite Yarns. One knitter or crocheter is going to be very lucky!


Here's how you enter...... Leave a note in the comments about an older person in your life - past or present - who influenced you and why. As always, leave an easy way to get a hold of you, e-mail, blog address, or Ravelry ID.

Winner will be picked by Random Number Generator. Contest ends Friday November 16th at 11:59 p.m. - just in time to get the winner their yarn for holiday crafting.
Contest is over. Thanks everyone for entering. The winner Cindy who wrote:
For me it was my Grandmother Zona who taught me needlework First there were sewing cards- cardboard with pictures and holes. Then it was embroidery, then spool knitting with a wooden spool with nails that Grandpa fixed for me. Then she taught me to knit. Recently I was delighted to have one of my granddaughters ask me to teach her to crochet. Thanks - Cindy (I am kidnurse on Ravelry)
 
Have a great week everyone!

195 comments:

Diane said...

A weaver named Rachel Brown fit that role for me. She was a great teacher and mentor. I appreciated her generous nature and the knowledge she shared.

Think it unlikely the random number generator will pick the first post but I can always hope.

Jane said...

My role models were my grandmas, one crocheted, tatted, and quilted; the other one was a seamstress, needlepointer and knitter.
My mom also made most of my clothes until I was 11 years old.
I had help for any project I tried.
Jane
jane dot compeau at gmail dot com

Judy @ daily yarns said...

My maternal grandmother was a huge influence in my life, tho she is no longer with us. I am reminded of her everyday when I pull out the worn bowl that she used and now I use. I am reminded of her when I look in my china cabinet and see the things displayed in there that I know she used in her daily life. I too have all her recipes and have gone through them time and time again.
She taught me to be kind to others and not to speak ill of others, tho she didn't directly teach me these things, I try to follow by example, and tho she was quiet and shy and only went to school to the 4th grade, she was a great teacher.

suedriskozago said...

Everyone in the family is crafty in one sense or another. My grandmother and aunt making socks and my aunt crocheting away. My mother was the doll maker and quilter. We were surrounded by creativity.

Sue

Ashley said...

My grandma could sew anything. I remember buying a cute black and pick jumper. She was able to make a pattern from it and make me a beautiful grey wool jumper that I could wear for scholarship interviews and the like. That dress got me to college. She was amazing.

patty said...

again, mother and grandmother. I love all things textile and this has got to be something genetic that is passed through our genes~


Patty
Patty in ravelry

Cynthia Nicole said...

Kristin- Right away I though of my own Nana, who was also a Freida and of German descent. All the girl cousins spent summer weeks at her wonderful home running as wild as we could get away with. She didn't want us to scream, but we couldn't help it as we swung off the shanty roof on willow branches - usually stripping leaves off as we slid down to earth!

Wendelene said...

I've been lucky enough to have a whole collection of "old ladies". When my partner died a few years ago my church choir voted me in as a member of the Widows Club. (I think it was because they wanted someone who could drive at night!) We go out for dinners, plays and concerts or just get together to drink and gab. The funny thing is that I'm the only avid crafter in the group. They all know how to knit and/or crochet, but they all considered it as a necessity, not something to do for enjoyment. So now they also keep my project filled with requests.

WildflowerWool said...

My Grandma. I remember her knitting and always wanting her to knit me a sweater. I have her knitting bag with her needles and yarn just as she left it the last time she used it. It makes me smile (and a little teary) everytime I see it.

Anonymous said...

My paternal grandmother inspired me. She was fearless when it came to travel. She taught me the value of seizing new places and meeting new people. This travel showed me its okay to be adventurous and how to respect others. I hope I can instill the same in my children.

RavID berrygal

Nicholas said...

Oh, my grandmothers, both. One was an amazing seamstress, the other an amazing cook. Furthermore, as a boy growing up, they both let me into these practices, which was probably the best gift possible.

Amazing peeps, they were.

faygoredpop on Ravelry

Jen said...

Man, I love when people talk about good grandmas. My influential person is my Mamaw, who is actually just a lady who went to church with us when I was a baby. She taught me to knit and crochet, and how to use a pressure canner. Even after we moved away, my parents would bring me back for visits. She's a big part of the reason why I love making crafts and going to the library. We used to write letters nearly every week, and I was already planning to call her today before I read this post. Now I definitely will! I'm jenandstuff on Ravelry.

WildflowerWool said...

oops forgot, ravelry id is wildflowerwool

Anonymous said...

Love the story of your grandma, Kristin. It brings to mind my grandma Mary who sewed Vogue patterns and helped me with my love of sewing. She too, was my biggest fan. I still miss her in my life today.
Thanks for all you do & share.
Connie
connknits@ravelry

TracyK said...

I love that you have your grandmother's recipe box! I was gifted my Nana's when she passed away and I too love looking through it. Seeing her sometimes illegible scrawl, remembering cooking with her in her kitchen - I can get lost down memory lane for hours. What a treasure to have. I'm elephantsknit on Ravelry.

Beth said...

What a lovely tribute to a very special woman. One of the amazing older women who had a big influence on me was a woman we knew when we lived in Williamstown. Mrs. Gert was spunky, funny, energetic, and full of the joy of life well into her 90's. She used to put a screen house on her deck and sleep out there every night in the summer so she could hear the creek across the road. At her funeral, it was spitting cold rain and someone said it wasn't rain, it was Mrs. Gert splashing in a creek up in heaven. She was an amazing inspiration and a real sweet friend. I have a soapstone cat she gave me. She loved her cats and I love having this little memento of her.

Thanks for such a generous giveaway! Your Gram would be delighted : )

Dee said...

My aunt who died in 1980 is my inspiration. Everything she did was competent and full of flair. I can still taste her meltingly rich brownies, or picture myself in a fashionable outfit she sewed for me. I miss her every day.

Anonymous said...

My mother endured very tough odds to try to create a happy childhood for us. Kristin - I can see your love of the outdoor world on your blog, and you would have loved the way she could bring the outdoors inside. Every season made it's way into our home and was celebrated.
Sabrina
mousekin on Rav.

Kathy at Knitting Off The Grid said...

My mother worked at the City of Hope hospital and became friends with one of the patients there who would come into the lobby each afternoon to knit. She had terminal cancer and would leave her room each afternoon so that she could be around others.

It was summer vacation for me with nothing to do, so my mother would bring me back to work with her after her lunch hour and this kind woman would sit with me and teach me the joy of knitting.

What a gift she gave me!

Jennifer said...

Kristin - what a beautiful post. I loved hearing all the love and fond memories you have for Gram. What a moving story. It reminded me of my Grandmother and made me all teary-eyed, too. No need to enter me in your contest. I just wanted to thank you and wish Gram a wonderful would-be 111th birthday!

Paula said...

My grandma still inspires me, and others, 21 years after she died. Born in 1896, she was much older than my friends' grandparents (older than some kids' great-grandparents), but never acted old. While her peers married in their teens, Gram moved from the Illinois farm she grew up on (and tended) to take a government job in Washington DC, where she taught ballroom dancing on the side. Later she taught school in Wisconsin where she met and married my grandfather. He died before I was born, but from family stories and photos, he clearly appreciated Gram's independent streak - it complemented his creative nature.

The only downside was Gram didn't do any grandmotherly things like bake, knit or crochet. She said she didn't have the talent, but always encouraged my love of those things.

Anonymous said...

I have to stop reading your blog at work - for all the tears I have had lately! First Archie's passing and now the wonderful tribute to your grandmother. My Grandmother was a kntter and my great-grandmother made us Christmas nighties.
They are both very missed!

Betsy
betsy@landmarkcenter.org

Savannagal said...

I loved your post. My Oma is my biggest influence. She will be 91 in a few days and is still going strong. She was a knitter her whole life and told me that during the war when she was in a prison camp, another woman taught her to knit. They unraveled a potato sack and used the string to knit a sweater, using carved sticks for needles. Oma has a photo of herself in that sweater. She too came to America not knowing any English and with only the shirt on her back. She is the hardest working woman I've ever known and has ethics of steel. I'd like to believe I became who I am because of her influence. I love her more than words can say.

Margo said...

My mother was my inspiration. I think she tried all of the needle crafts at one time or another. She is the only person I ever met who could try something new and make look like she had been doing it forever. She was a great cook and baker too. I doubt I'll ever come close knitting and crocheting as well as she did, but I do a decent job in the kitchen.

Bridget said...

I had a Grandma Freda too! She was my biggest (understated) cheerleader too and taught me to make a mean granny square when I was in elementary school.

Jo M. said...

This post resonated for me. My grandma, Marie born 117 years ago, was a German immigrant from Russia. Like Frieda, she was talented in sewing, knit and crochet, baking, cooking. She was a hard-working farm wife who raised chickens, and tended a huge garden with love and skill. she was my refuge as a child. What lovely memories your post evoked.

estyn said...

I also corresponded with my grandmother when I left home. I once counted the letters and found there were exactly one hundred and one.

Sheri said...

My Grandma Heater is the one who taught me to crochet, quilt, sew and cook. She also lived on a farm and had a huge garden which we all helped in at one time or the other. I miss her daily.

Momasly@yahoo.com

lemonade sandwich said...

My grandmother is a crazy good knitter. She can look at a pattern in a store and recreate it herself in mere minutes. As great as she is, she also has, shall we say, unusual, colore sense. There was way more florescent orange in sweaters growing up than there ever should have been. But that doesn't keep me from using lots of colors now!
lemonadesandwich on ravelry

larsonrh said...

I would love to win that lovely yarn! My mother is gone, but she crocheted for everyone around her. Even the nurses and doctors who cared for her when she was sick!
Taught me everything I know and I wish every day she was still here to teach me more!
Thanks!

Sarah said...

What a lovely tribute to your Grandmother. My Grandmother was a quilter and a Home Ec teacher. She was very.very. deliberate in how she taught me home ec. It drove me nuts when I was a teen but I appreciate it now!

Casey said...

Like you, my Grandmother was the one to teach me, mine taught me to sew. I made most of my clothes after those few lessons, how to hem, mend, sew on buttons. It was invaluable to me to have someone in my corner. Her lace as well as her Mothers was passed on to me, yeah!!
ashefamily@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

My grandma was also a knitter, crocheter and sewer.

D said...

My grandmother was a huge influence for me. She was not one for crafting, but her dedication to her family, her faith, and her beautiful garden still inspire me. She was the epitome of strength and kindness. I lost her when I was 15, but I still think about her all the time- especially when I smell tortillas!

danielle.alkire *at* gmail.com

Kathryn Vercillo said...

This is such an amazingly beautiful post.

My own grandmothers both come to mind right now because of what you've shared here as well as because of the fact that the one on my mom's side just passed away a few weeks ago. My grandmas haven't been an everyday part of my life but there is no denying that the generations before influence us in myriad ways.

Christine said...

My Great Aunt Mabel. She was the maiden aunt in the family. She was a nurse, loved flashy jewelry, and was a fantastic cook and baker. I have a recipe box of hers that has a lot of recipes from the Depression and WWII when ingredients weren't as available as they are now.

Rav ID: Embellished

Anonymous said...

Funny, I was thinking about my Grandma on Sunday. She died 9 years ago and last month, the insurance company contacted me to say she had a second policy that was never paid out! But I was thinking of her because I was making pasties and using her recipe. Karen (kgoodburneATyahooDOTcom)

Val Reaves said...

Oh Kristin,....as I read about your grandmother, I started to cry because I never knew my Norwegian grandmother. She was gone before I was born... She has been an inspiration to me, because I have some of her crocheted lace and pillow covers. From my youth, I would look at them intently, knowing that one day I would learn to do what she had done... How I wish I had known her... Please enter me in your generous giveaway, and perhaps I can put it to use in honor of her...
Val in Kansas

Anonymous said...

Picking one is hard, I have always loved being around older people because of the stories they tell. But my love of sewing, knitting, and all things craft i have to give credit to my mom who learned from her mother (I never knew my grandparents) My mother would share stories of them knitting together as she and I knit together. My mom is 93, and has now stopped, but still enjoys the things i make.

Fracksmom on Ravelry

Julie D. said...

I learned lace knitting from an older woman that I worked for in the summers, tending her flower beds. She was also my Sunday School teacher for several years. She had a blackboard in her kitchen with a new scripture reading every week.

Bonnie said...

My maternal grandparents watched me when I was very small and my mom had gone back to teaching. I love them very, very much and use their relationship as a template for how two partners should behave.

Christina Fortier said...

Thanks for sharing about your special Grandma. I had a wonderful relationship with my Grandma Evelyn. We spent a lot of time together. I love watching her cook and bake which has now inspired how I cook and bake. I tend to find myself doing things the "old fashioned" way. I am so blessed for having her in my life.
christina4tier@gmail.com

Sara said...

I loved reading about your G-ma. I believe that I got my knitting addiction from my G-ma. I was the youngest of 6, and G-Ma live close to my grade school, so I'd go over there after school and hang out with her. It drove my mother crazy, because she really did not like G-ma, her MIL. G-ma gave me popcorn with REAL butter on it - and one juice glass of Coca-cola. A HUGE treat. I did not know until I was older, that G-ma had favorites. She liked me and one of my sisters. We got presents at Christmas, the others didn't. She really disliked my brother who is gay, and my sister that has diabetes. They were flawed and she had no time for them. I loved G-ma and have all the wonderful memories of her that I should. But I guess my view was skewed! My mom said - only the good die young. And G-ma lived to be 97! SareBearKnits on ravelry - sarabyron@att.net

PJ said...

Your Gram sounds much like my Nana. She was from a German family, worked in a lace factory before she married my Grampy and moved with him to the wilds of Nebraska.

I can see her rolling out noodles on her large, formal dining room table in preparation for the family favorite - Pennsylvania Dutch chicken with noodles.

She helped make my early teen years a bit more bearable; always having a special treat for me and always having a smile while saying, "That's my Pat."

pj456rosenthal at sbcglobal dot net

Sharon Lee Kubichek said...

My MIL. She was a strong, strong willed woman, so there were often sparks around, but what an amazing life. child of the depression whose father left a promising career to become a beet farmer. went into the Women's Army Corp and served many many years, from there to become state director of the unemployment office and an old-fashioned democrat in a very republican state, passionate and frighteningly knowledgeable of all points of law and politics. cussed like a marine, she and her cats had their 5pm scotch and peanuts and mackerel every day. raised 2 sons with a husband on military disability. yes, we disagreed, but she showed me a lot of ways to be strong and loyal.
skubitwo@gmail.com

tjf said...

Both of my grandmothers greatly influenced me in different ways. My father's mother was the crafty one who made so many things and knitted, crocheted, sewed, embroidered etc. She also made do with very little and I think all of the gifts I received from her were handmade. She taught me to knit when I was 7 but died when I was 9. I often think of her now as I make things; I have some of her knitting needles but I wish I had had more time with HER. My mother's mother was fiesty, very intelligent and also a very hard worker. She taught me the value of education, family and getting involved to make the world better for others. She hated handwork I think but taught me to tat when I was young. Both grandmothers shared the Catholic faith with me. I miss them both.
Tricia
thefankells@mesanetworks.net

Anonymous said...

My grandmother was a sweet and tiny little lady. She didn't craft but my mother learned how to smock,sew, needlepoint and knit. She smocked all of the dresses my older sister and I wore and then handed down to the 3 younger ones. She taught us to knit and to make things for others. Both Mom and Meme are gone now but my boys have the sweaters and blankets she made for them to hand down to their kids. They still look great!
Patty
pclark204@comcast.net

stufenzumgericht said...

Hi Kristin,
for me, it was my grandma too. Grandma Johanna was a dressmaker and when I was a little child, I wore the same clothes as my doll, all sewn by my beloved grandmother. I remember her as always sitting behind her sewing machine and sewing some wonderful clothes! And yes, here in Germany, we eat Stollen on Christmas time. The Stollen symbolizes the new born child Jesus Christ in its cradle.
Martina

Fibercrafter said...

Hi Kristin,
My Granny G (Dagney) lived with us for several years, and her hands were never idle. I still have some of the sweaters she knitted for my dolls, and Hardanger embroidery and Hedebo crochet pieces that I cherish. Thanks for the chance.

Meg C said...

What amazes me most is how all our different stories are still so much alike. So many of the women who made our families didn't have the chances we have. My mother, Georgiana Johnson Caulmare, was the smartest, most creative and nurturing person I have ever known. I was particularly touched by Kristin's mention of her grandmother's fondness for PBS. That was my mother's window into education, too. She loved everything from Monty Python to Live at Wolf Trap, which was my introduction to Sarah Vaughn.

Thank you for the chance to write her name and think about her. Best wishes to you, the family, and the flock.

caulmare@english.umass.edu

Leanne said...

Both of my grandmothers were great influences in my life...one with regard to embroidery and one in the kitchen. I still use some of my Nanny's pillowcases and tablecloths that she stitched and have fond memories of my time in the the kitchen with my Grandma and also cherish some of her handwritten recipes. I still love to pass on recipes on cards that are handwritten. There is just something about it that makes the recipe extra special. Thanks for sharing about your grandmother,

HOA Mgr Lady said...

My friend Marian K. She was a guiding influence in my life and taught me to love. She had a great love for her children and included me in the pack. I miss her.

Rebekah said...

My aunt Valerie and her husband Pat have spent many years of hard work helping the families in Africa, both on the continent and here in the U.S. They have traveled the world but they take nothing for granted and that is what I'm reminded of every time I think of them.

herlittleway at gmail dot com

Karen (woolyminded on Ravelry) said...

Got to be my own grandmother, Elizabeth Schmitz Billings, born in Hungary in 1908. She was not a fiber crafts person, but a fantastic cook and my biggest cheerleader growing up. My mother and I swap her handwritten recipe book back and forth, it's a great family treasure. Thanks for sharing your family with us!

Anne said...

My Grandma Gray taught me how to crochet and knit. She had 11 children - of whom my dad was #10. I don't think a day- or a stitch- goes by where I don't think of her. She was an incredibly patient teacher. She also crocheted and knitted handmade gifts for us each year for Christmas. (which is quite a feat considering she had 30 some grandkids) Her specialty was crocheted frogs from a 1972 McCalls holiday magazine.

Anne Paulson paulsons4@arvig.net

Mary Jane said...

My Mom (Anne). I watched her knit and then she taught me how. I still have a sweater that she made me. I miss her so.
Mary Jane
mjtknits in Ravelry

Anonymous said...

My Grandma Esther, she made a lot of activities fun. I can remember going camping and taking my knitting, just started before I turned 50. Grandma would go camping with us, she always was asking if I was making her a purse! She died a couple of springs ago and I miss her a lot.

d_karen@hotmail.com

Kathleen C. said...

Okay, let me just stop tearing up first.
I have to divide the honor...
We lived very far away from my grandmother, but somehow she was thw one who taught me to crochet (and later knit) and to sew. I learned more on my own through time, but the initial impetus came from her.
But the strongest influence on my life was definitely my mother. She was always the first to say how talented, how smart, how creative I was. She gave the confidence to pursue a career I love that other families might have discouraged (theater costuming). She may have joked that she was aving canned food for me, but she never said "Why don't you get a business major and do theater as a hobby".
Shoot, I'm crying again...

Ravelry is KathleenC

MelissaH said...

Definitely my grandmother, who has a marvelous sense of style. She always looks elegant and luxurious, even if she's just going downstairs to get the mail. I consider myself lucky to have knit her a lace scarf that she wears.

Karen said...

Ohh what a wonderful prize!! The person in my life who influenced me was my Grandma on my dad's side. She was my crafting sole mate. I can remember doing christmas collages with her, crocheting, knitting and even rooting sweet potatos and growing them in an awesome pot we had decorated!

Auntie Shan said...

Although born in Quebec in 1905, like most of my Maternal-Grandmother's Family, she grew up in Massachusetts during a period when French families were going back and forth to work in the New England mills. Her Father was a Building Contractor in Salem...

"Meme" did EVERYTHING when it came to Needlework and Sewing. At 16, She won 1st prize for Costumes She'd made laddened with extensive Handsewn-Beadwork! According to my Mom, there wasn't anything that She couldn't touch and turn into some useful bit of Art or Decoration...

She died at the age of 42, a few months before my Mother's 14th birthday, leaving Her with 3 older brothers and a 2-yr-old baby brother to raise. Thankfully, Mom picked up most of Her Mother's skills at any early age and subsequently passed them on to my Younger Sister and myself.

Sis does the machine-Sewing, "crafty-stuff", cooking... And I'm the Hands-on "Needleworker". Crochet and recently knitting, are my current primary pasttimes. I've done the needlepoint, embroidery, beadwork, etc. -- I like to say that I've inherited my Grandmother's "Hands"...

And now, I'm going to go back to *using* them!

:-D


Willow said...

Like you, I had a German grandmother. Although she didn't do any kind of needlework (I learned that from my other grandmother), she bequeathed to me her love of gardening. Even during her 80s she and I would sit together in the flower bed pulling weeds. This German grandma taught me to cook and bake her favorite foods. Most importantly, she loved me and patiently put up with my childhood and teenage antics of stealing a kiss from her or untying her apron strings. How fortunate I was that my grandma showed me unconditional love and shared her life with me.

Willow at willowknitsatyahoodotcom

MrsCampbell on Ravelry said...

GRANDMA ZELDA! She was the most amazing woman. She taught me to neelepoint and crochet. She had no daughters and I was the first girl grandchild and I got a lot of attention. She moved to Florida after my grandpa died and while in college I used to go visit her during my spring breaks. Fond memories of making eggplant parmesan, sharing a bottle of wine and playing Scrabble!

jennifer.auroradesign said...

I read this post and it made me cry! Actually kind of embarrassing because just then the phone rang and when I picked it up my voice cracked. But anyway...

My beloved god mother Virginia was an inspiration to me as a child. Widowed as a VERY young mother Virgina never had much but I doubt anyone that knew her ever felt deprived. She created joy always. She was about my grandmothers age and every holiday Virginia made sure my sisters and I all had some little treat. Felt shamrock pins for St. Patrick's Day. A half dollar in a sewn heart for Valentines Day. The big treat was Christmas. We each had an emboidered mesh bag with our names. Inside the bag were all sorts of treasures wrapped individually in tissue paper--lollipops, dime store goodies, new crayons, you name it. One year I received a small tote bag inside with scraps of yarn, lace, buttons, needle and thread. A treasure I still hold onto almost forty years later. Love remembering all of this!

Nichole said...

My Mom... she was always getting me to do crafty things as a child. Plastic canvas, ceramics, rug hooking, macrame... you name it. Around 7, she tried to teach me to knit... I think I made a blanket for my doll (aka a rectangle) and that was that. I kept at the other crafts, but not the knitting... until I moved into my own home nearly 12 years ago and begged Mom for some needles, yarn and books. After some phone calls and emails, I was back at it again and am now an avid knitter.

Wow - a washing machine prize? Wonderful... she was a lucky lady! I'd be just as excited to win your yarn!

My name is Erika. said...

Your post made me think of my Nana. I also have her old recipe cards, which I cherish. She taught me to knit too!!! I feel very lucky I got to spend a lot of time with her but I miss her terribly. She would be 103 next Friday...I wish she could have been around to see her centennial, she would have LOVED it.And since we used to travel together (image me at 25 and she at 75 doing Europe), we could have taken a trip to celebrate.

Rose said...

Three women encouraged me, and even though they were probably my current age, I thought of them as older, wise women. One named Marie, taught me to sew, one named Fern, taught me to knit, and one named Anne, taught me to view family life with tongue firmly in cheek. She would come to work after a hectic morning at home, with not a hair out of place, impeccably dressed, and say, "Family living!", when she was frustrated. That was all, but she conveyed an ability to rise above it with excellent composure, that I strive for, but seldom attain. Oh, and my La Leche League leader introduced me to an entire network of wise women. So many have enriched my life. Thank you for prompting me to think about them. Ope I win your beautiful yarn!

Rose said...

I meant hope, not ope, and my email is knitblogger@cox.net
Thanks!

pulverschwein said...

Funny, for several weeks now my cousin and I have been talking about the women from which we came. Obviously we share a grandma, Gram, and then we have our "other sides of the family".
Anyway, I had two AMAZING Grandmothers!I feel SO blessed.
One knit and sewed and crafted and gardened and cooked and was super artistic, the other crocheted purple ponchos, (Ok, my sisters was some other crazy 70's color!) I love that I have evolved into a divine mix of them both, tacky, yet refined! Snort!
I love your colors! I saw your yarn in person for the first time this past weekend! True Love!

Angela said...

My paternal grandmother taught me how to crochet at about age 5. This is when my love for yarn began. She also loved flowers, namely African Violets, which is my favorite flower/plant still today.

Susan said...

Oh Kristin, this is like reading a story about my own dear Grandma! She lived with us from shortly before my birth until she died 27 years later. Mostly she sewed, scrap quilt after quilt, all donated to Catholic missions. I know she embroidered and crocheted earlier in her life, but I think her eye site and arthritis were too bad by the time I knew what she was doing. She was a second mom in our home and I value her memory more each year. I have her rocking chair and her recipe box but I will forever regret that I sold her treadle sewing machine for a pittance as soon as I laid my greedy little hands on it. :-(
sbsford(at)gmail(dot)com

AnnEdith said...

Your post made me tear up, in a good way. For me, an older woman at our church, sort of a pseudo-grandmother, taught me something I've never forgotten. I visited her when she was dying and in pain, and she said "It's a good thing we don't know what the future holds." I was in my teens at the time and had not thought about things like that too much. I know she was telling me that she was glad she had not known about the suffering she was enduring, but since then, I have often thought of those words from many different perspectives.
AnnEdith on ravelry

Brwngrl said...

My Grand Aunt Catherine - I was about seven or eight years old. I would sit at her feet while she rocked. She always had time for me and while she rocked she would tell me stories of her growing up, how she and her siblings dressed and what they did - she was in her eighties. I have never forgotten her and remember her stories to this day.

Suzanne said...

My grandmother was a crocheter and still have a throw that she made. It sits on the back of the couch due to some kitties and their nails. We also found some other items she made in my mother's hope chest (now I use it for my knitted items) and they will eventually go to my niece.

Bonney said...

I love this posting. There isn't a day that goes by without me thinking of my grandmother who instilled the love of knitting and crewel work in me. When my parents needed rugs for their first home my grandmother went off to the local Goodwill and bought a bunch of wool skirts which she then braided into 2 huge oval rugs. I spent so much time looking at all the patterns in those rugs! She gave birth 2 six boys but she passed her love for knitting to so many of her grandchildren. I still miss her.

Cami said...

I watched my Grandma Verba crochet thousands of stitches until one day she handed me some yarn and a hook and said "Get to it." I still crochet and have also learned to knit, spin and weave. I feel like I owe my love of fiber to Verba.

aggie325 said...

My paternal grandparents immigrated from what was Czechoslovakia in the early 1900s and I too have fond memories of my grandma. She was gentle, sweet and an amazing cook. I cherish some of the old recipes she thought to write down so the rest of our family and the generations to come can continue to enjoy them. I love your story!

Sally said...

Ah, I love celebrating your Frieda! As I've told you before, my quilting inspiration was my great-aunt Frieda (and her sister, my grandmother Emma, who died before I was born). Emma's daughter, Evelyn Emma, my mom taught me to sew, knit, crochet, and embroider. We learned to quilt together in the mid '80s. She hadn't learned from her mom and aunt. She said, "Mom always came home from quilting group all worked up over something. Why would I want to go there and do that?" But she had regrets and made up for it by being an extraordinary hand quilter. I will never be able to match the beautiful stitches she mastered. Mom died three and a half years ago, just before my Emma graduated high school. But so so sweetly, Emma's graduation quilt was complete and ready to give, just as was my two older kids' and my older niece's quilts in previous years, my younger niece's quilt a year later, and...most amazing, my youngest daughter's quilt, which we'll give in May of 2015. How lovely is that?
Thanks, as always, Kristin, for the constant inspiration, the chance to tell a story, and for the lovely giveaway. xo

sally said...

My Grandma was a widow who worked for the village and raised three boys. She didn't have time for crafts but she did influence me in other ways. She lived upstairs so I spent time with her every day. She took me with her when she visited her old friends. I think that eventually led me to be a hospital chaplain. She was a strong little Irish lady. Thanks for reminding me of her. I'm going to spend some time now thinking about her and her enjoying my memories.

Breanna S. said...

Reading your post reminded me of just how much I miss my granny every day. She would have been 101 this past August. Granny loved to cook for people and sew quilts. As a small child she sat my on a stack of phone books and put the machine peddle up on a box so that I could learn to sew on her old singer. I was fortunate enough to get to have her sewing machine after she passed.

Kathy said...

My Nana, Edith James, was my biggest inspiraton for cooking and crafting. She made homemade peanut brittle and I am lucky enough to have her marble 'pour slab' and also her recipe for Choc fudge. She sold these candies along with others to help the family 'make ends meet' when my grandfather died. Nana taught me to sew and embroider. She was always encouraging, and never minded the messes I would make. I loved those McCall's magazines! I remember looking at them for days on end, devouring every scrap of info! I miss her very much. She died when I was about 10, and I know that had she lived longer, we'd have been able to knit the hours away! Thanks for your TIME and LOVE, Nana. I hope I can do the same for my grandchildren...

Auntea said...

Oh Kristin what precious memories, thank you so much for sharing them. I never knew my Grandmothers, but my grandmother's sister Edna was the most talented woman I ever knew. She crocheted a bedspread (thread wt)for every one in her family. They were stunning. She tatted, embroidered, and even though she was in her 80's she baked my wedding cake for me as a gift. She taught me to give the best of myself to those I love.

Mar said...

My mum was my best teacher and inspiration. She was a busy farmer's wife with five children. Somehow she managed to take care of the livestock, have a gigantic garden (including a huge flower garden), chauffeur her kids to various sporting activities and lessons, be a very active member of her church and community, bake and cook incredible meals and sew all our clothes. She always made time when I asked to teach me how to knit, crochet, sew, embroider and bake. We lost her five years ago and I still miss her everyday. My most treasured possessions are the quilts and afghans she made for me and my children and her recipe for what we call "Gramma Cookies".
Thanks for the giveaway. I would be thrilled to win your lovely yarn.
Ravely ID: solsticesister

hahnak said...

my mother in law is a great inspiration to me. she taught me to knit and has always been so encouraging of me in whatever i do. i dont think i would be half as bold as i am to tackle new things in my life if she hadnt been there, encouraging me!

Sallie said...

My Mom was my inspiration. She knit, crocheted and sewed. I was very tall for my age and could never find clothes to fit, so my mother made almost everything I wore for many years. Mother learned to knit as a young girl, and her first job during the depression was in a yarn shop. She was still knitting until she passed away earlier this year at the age of 96.

Jane said...

My great uncle was like a grandfather to me. He taught me kindness, hard work and honesty. He was a great gardener. He especially loved roses and taught me the correct way to plant them. Roses always remind me of him.

Karen at Struan Farm said...

My father's father died when he was two. He was sent by his mother, who had five children, to live with an elder brother and his wife who were childless. We grew up calling them "Gram" and "Pop." They were our grandparents, really, and his parents. Gram taught me to knit and sew. She made me Barbie outfits, which I now know had to have been incredibly tedious. She taught me detailed tailoring tricks. My own mother was hopeless on this score, so it was Gram who got me to where I am today!

Sheila said...

November 13 is my mom's birthday, so I really have to say her. She always knit when I was growing up and she did teach me to knit as a child. But I have to confess I didn't keep up with it past my teenage years. I took up knitting again in my thirties and can't imagine stopping.

Mary said...

I remember and miss my Grandma. She always spoke courteously, and she was gentle.

Adaliza said...

What a lovely post. I lost my Mum a couple of years ago, but her legacy is a love of needlework & ballet that most certainly lives on. She was a prize-winning needlewoman, as was her mother before. She knitted right up till the day she died. She could do anything - knitting, tapestry, crochet, broomstick crochet, Tunisian crochet, macrame - she was inspirational. When I was very, very small she gave me a hook & ball of wool, showed me the basics and how to follow a pattern and the rest is history! I wish she could see what I make now - especially my Gypsy Rose blanket - she'd have loved it. I don't feel sad about her these days, just briefly when I finish a project maybe for a fleeting moment. She may not be at the end of the phone, but I really feel that she's safe and knows that I'm OK. We were very close.

Flowerknitter said...

Thanks for the story and the contest. I have 2 people in my life: my Grandmother who came from Prussia and had a talent for sewing and my mother who taught me to crochet .

pekecrazy said...

What a wonderful giveaway. I teared up thinking of my own Nana! Thank you for sharing a wonderful story.

Anonymous said...

Only one? Both my grandmothers taught me skills in knitting and tatting, somewhere crocheting came in. My mother was never afraid of tackling projects of any size, knitting, crocheting or sewing. I still marvel at her redoing the sofa's by recovering using the old fabric for patterns. I kind of draw the line at trying that even though I know it can be done and my mother did it more than once. They each gave me confidence to try what ever interested me. Helen

Elaine said...

My weaver spinner friend, Jan Nyquist, is my favorite older person. She is 98 now, nearly blind but still spins and knits. She is one of the Founders of Handweavers Guild of America and led quite an eventful life. This weekend she is moving from her condo to an assisted living apartment. She is always cheerful and wanting to know what I'm working on. I bring items for her to "see" and we talk about them. Her last residence before the Chicagoland area was Albany, New York, where she was really active in her weaving guild there. She lives about an hours drive from me but I wouldn't miss seeing her for anything. I go out every 3 or 4 weeks, bring lunch, and we just hang out. She's such a treasure!!
eblim01@yahoo.com

Mltims@bellsouth.net said...

My grandmother, Ripple was very influential in my life. She taught me to sew and encouraged my love for handmade items of any kind. I miss her greatly.

Melia said...

My mom had a lot of health problems, and my grandmother helped raise me - she was always, always there. Whatever was needed, especially encouragement and love. All she wanted was to know that she had loved us well.
Melia

melia1127@hotmail.com

Chelsea @ Garden-Me.com said...

My Grandma was almost blind most of her life, but she raised five boys, cooked, and crocheted and played cards! She taught me patience and perseverance in difficulty, and I really miss her hugs.

Linda Rumsey said...

My Dutch Grandmother was always crafting and although I can't speak Dutch and she couldn't speak English, she taught me needlework and passed on a life-long love of yarn!

lindarumsey on Ravelry.

RobinT said...

My Mom had a great influence in my crafting world.She taught me to crochet when I was ten yrs old,and how to sew when I was 12. I've passed on my love of crafting to my daughters, and now my grandaughter's. I'm robcroknit on Ravelry.

Kaydeerouge said...

A lovely lovely post - I can't participate in competition because I'm in the UK, but I just wanted to let you know how touching I found this posting. As it happens, I can't think of an individual older person in my life who influenced me as you describe!

Judy said...

My grandma, my fathers mother, taught me how to bake bread. Her homemade bread toasted with butter and homemade applesauce on a cool morning is a memory that can not be recreated in this present time. Many of her recipes were handed down to us. She also sewed and embroidered. I still have one of her "Jimmy" dolls with the movable arms and legs. (lightinabook@gmail.com)

Kathy said...

Both of my Grandmas influenced my crafting life. One, with fibre arts. Grandma McClintock taught me how to knit (at age 6) but wasn't surprised when I forgot how. Only a few years later, I was working on a crochet Granny square, when she complimented me on my quick way with the hook. That "hooked" me then, on crafting. Now, I knit every chance I get!
Grandma Zacharias influenced me in baking. I remember "helping" her to form buns from a tiny piece of dough, enthralled at how it would grow in size, just by being covered up~sneaking a peek at the rising buns wasmagical for me! Now, my family gets fresh bread, every week. And when I'm kneading that dough, and punching it down, she's the one I think of. And wonder at, since she's still doing the same thing, at over 80 years old!

I hope to be as influential on my grandkids at they were, and still are, on me.

Cherie M in Estes said...

Thank you for the beautiful memories of your grandmother. Neither of mine was particularly crafty, but they were rather unusual for their time. Grandma Marie, born in 1906, operated a "tavern ". Today it might be called a bar and grill. She did ALL the cooking. They were there from 10 am till midnight six days a week. Grandma Nettie, born in 1886, owned and managed 20 rental homes. I remember walking with her from house to house to collect rent and to be sure all was going well with her "families". Neither taught me how to stitch a thing, but both showed me the value of working hard and caring about others.

linda bowton said...

kristin,
what a lovely giveaway and remembrance of someone special in our lives that influenced our love of crafts! for me, my Babi, was the direct influence on me. i still have a hat, scarf and glove set she made me when i was in grade school. i have some of her steel (lace) crochet hooks!! it always seems a g'ma was involved as a role model in olden days. Babi is Czech for g'ma. i would love to win this giveaway... i love your colors!!
thank you!
^)^ linda
lbquilts on Ravelry

Kathleen said...

My grandmother was not a knitter. (I learned that skill from a beloved aunt). Nana was a poker-playing, beer-drinking, smoking grandmother who was quite a character. She was also divorced which was rare for her era. Holiday dinners at her house didn't feature high-quality home-cooked meals...there was a lot of the fore-mentioned beer, cigarettes and poker, however. She always had boxes of Sanders candy and that was such a treat for us kids!

janna said...

What beautiful stories. We are so lucky to have such special people in our lives. My father was my special older person. He was late starting a family because of the war (the big war, he called it) and taking care of ill parents, so he was an older man when I was born. Classmates often thought he was my grandfather. He had no opportunity to go to college, something he always regretted deeply, but like your grandmother, was intensely curious and read just about anything he could get his hands on. He was the smartest person I know.

Joan Busby said...

Your post has generated so many wonderful comments and memories of loved and talented mentors. What a great way to start the day - reading and reflecting on the loved ones in our lives. I still miss my Mother who died when I was twelve. She taught sewing at a vocational high school in Philadelphia. She could design and create beautiful things.

steph said...

My Dad---who taught me to knit. He was an elementary age child during WWI and all the kids were taught to knit in school. The teacher would cast on--and bind off, so all he really knew how to do was knit.....and that's what he taught me. He'd loop some stitches on the needles for me (I was about age 6 or so), I'd knit up my green ball of yarn, then together we'd rip it all out, wind it all up---and he'd loop a different amount of stitches on the needle---and off I'd go again!!! (I did this for YEARS---never made a darn thing!!!) Obviously, I'm a process knitter----who never has a problem ripping out anything (sweater doesn't fit quite right---or doesn't look as good as I thought it would on me......rip rip rip. No big deal!)
Thanks for letting me share my memories.....and for the chance to win such a great prize!!!

soyknits on ravelry

yardsailor said...

I lost my favorite Cousin Pat this week, she was not that much older than me, 75 to my 69, but she was always the "oldest" in our family of cousins. She was the most talented of us all, a seamstress, she worked in a Bridal Salon out of high school, doing alterations. She sewed, knit and crocheted all her life, we were all gifted with her many works, things I will always treasure. She made my wedding veil, bustled the train on my gown, designed and sewed my going away dress. All wonderful warm memories of a talented woman. RIP Pat. Thanks for allowing me to share her story here.

Grace Elizabeth's said...

Grandma Grace without a doubt was a great infuence in my life. She loved God and all he created. My faith is strong because of her. She also passed along her passion for recipes and flower gardens. Oh I miss her so but see her in many things I do and look forward to seeing her again in heaven.

Lisa said...

My grandmother, Mamom Sophie was my light in the storm of my childhood. Kindness, calm, acceptance and love were her gifts...It's almost 20 years since she's passed but her gifts remain.
Lisa vivianos3@aol.com

Kathleen said...

My Mom knit and crocheted things from sight. She could not read and follow patterns so she created her own "patterns" by seeing something and reproducing it by memory. She gave me the confidence to stray from a written pattern and make it my own. I have even started to design and create my own knitting, amazed at what my Mom was able to do on her own so many years ago!

Helen Hart said...

My mother was the greatest influence in my life. She sewed clothes for me and my 2 brothers when we were little, times were tough. She had always knitted so taught me when I was about 6. Then she took up weaving and I know that is why I am a weaver today. She also taught me to sew. In conclusion, she taught me to knit, sew, spin and weave. How I miss her. Thanks, Helen Hart
HelzHart@aol.com

mn_bird said...

I adored my Uncle Irv. He had an infectious sense of humor and fun. He loved all kinds of technical and goofy gadgets. I have his pair of battery-powered socks that are supposed to keep your feet warm as a remembrance. Oh, how he would love all techno-gadgets that we have today.

He was a down-to-earth, wonderful man who took joy in every day.

Thanks for giving me a reason to think about him!

Anonymous said...

I had to cry a bit this morning thinking about my cheerleader--- my Mom. She always told me I had done everything she was afraid to do. She didn't realize that I had done these things because of her faith in me. Every time I craft now I feel her smiling over my shoulder. She was MY hero.

pegmac said...

My Grandma Freida was my biggest influence. We lost her 7 yrs ago this month. I still think of her every day.
Love You Grandma till we meet again.

pegmac on ravelry

bookagent said...

My Mom inspired me all my life, she passed away on Sept 2nd at 89. She too was a seamstress, crocheter, cook and wonderful gardener. She and my Dad were married for 68 years! I miss her everyday but am so grateful for all the skills she taught me.

Pam H
phopkin1@rochester.rr.com

csndyrn said...

We called my grandma, Grandma Cookie as she always had a batch of newly baked cookies for us when we visited. She came from a poor, itinerant farming family. She and her husband managed to purchase a small farm and worked so hard all their lives to subsist from the fruits of their labors. Going in town to sell eggs, meat, flowers, anything they could grow on that farm. She hooked rugs mostly and her home was filled with wall to wall floor coverings she had made. Oh how I wish I had even a small sample of one rug she worked so hard on to keep the floors warm in winter. Great memories from my childhood with her.

Hilda said...

I had only one living grandmother when I was born, that I hardly knew, but instead had a non-related grandmother, Maria, who took care of me while my mom worked. We lived in the basement of her house, and she had a doll hospital and her husband was a jeweler. She taught me many things, making doll clothes, playing cards, and she was a formidable element in my very early years.

Shannon Adams said...

My grandmother was a huge influence on my life also. Both of my parents worked so my siblings and I got off the bus at my grandparents' house after school. She helped with homework and told us wonderful family stories. Sadly, she was stricken with Alzheimer's and passed away from the disease after a 10 year battle. She always told me that family was the most important thing. To this day, I miss her and her smiling face. Thank you for sharing your story about your own grandmother.

Shannon Adams - wldnovacat on Ravelry

Denise said...

My grandparents lived in England while I was raised in the US so I only saw them in person for a few weeks every 2 years (back in the olden days when air travel was relatively expensive). However my paternal grandmother grew lavender in her garden and taught me to dry them and make sachets on one of my visits. I still love lavender and keep sachets in my dresser drawers.

flgirl1987 AT yahoo DOT com

Tobie said...

My mother was my early role model. But there is someone in my knit group now, a woman who is 87, and is a current role model. She is still active and still a very creative knitter. She is a real model for aging gracefully.

Anonymous said...

My maternal grandmother was always crafting something and also always reminded us that she never won anything and never had any luck. Sounds sad when I reread it but as I get older, I realize she was the biggest influence on who I am today.

lisaj @ ravelry

Mike said...

Aunt Mabel who taught me to knit, a legacy that has now lasted for over half a century.

Julie Witt said...

What a great story! My grandmother and three of her daughters (my mom included) used to get together every Saturday afternoon for tea. They would knit and chat while the kids played. I was older than the rest of the kids so I liked to hang around the women and listen to the gossip and watch them knit. One of my aunts taught me to knit when I was around 10. I have very fond memories of her - she died in a car accident when I was 12. I often think of those Saturday afternoons.
sewknitful on Rav.

Mia said...

My Nana--raised 11 children with grace. Knitted me mittens as a kid that I still use today.

Anonymous said...

Loved the story of your Grandma. My grandmother, Gonny, lived right next door to us on our farm & her home was a haven of fun, great food, dominoes, & many precious memories for my brother & me.
Thanks for the contest!

Murzzi@gorge.net

Sue Smith said...

My Aunt Lucille, who is 90, was and still remains my greatest influence. She taught me to knit when I was 7. With my Aunt Lucille, I also learned to embroider linen tablecloths, do crewel work, make paper, do papier mache. Because of her creativity (she was an art instructor) I took my cues and taught myself to crochet, spin and weave. She's an inspiration!

Anonymous said...

My gram used to make lace altho she never taught any of us how to do it. She made doughnuts during the depression and sold them for 5 cents, to put food on the table for her family. She was great gram to my boys and we miss her. Im darrlaa on ravelry

Connie Drye said...

My mother who is independent, stubborn, smart and now has dementia. Thank the lord I picked up her sewing talent. So blessed to have her in my life right now.


condrye@windstream.net

Anonymous said...

It wasn't really a family member, but by generic definitions he was.

My college roomates mother, deemed Mommy Smith. She is everything I aspire to be. She's a pro in her field (knitting!). She bakes, and knits and teaches. She has 6 spinning wheels and the biggest loom you could ever see instead of a dining table. Id never seen yarn that wasn't made my Red Heart, never even knew it existed. Id used a crochet hook but it was a frivolous time waster before her. She showed me "real" yarn, gave me bamboo needles and showed me all the pretty koolaid dyed yarns she'd made. She taught me to make pies (I graduated last year with my pastry cert from the Art Institute) and send me her designs to knit from. She's been my cheerleader, my aspiration, my inspiration. I love Mommy very much and she's made me the person I am today.

Nicole
fairyofyarn@yahoo.com

Claire said...

My Uncle Arthur - who in actual fact wasn't my Uncle but my Mum's best friend's husband. I was a very shy child, having lost my Dad at 2 1/2 years old, and Uncle Arthur was the only man I would allow to hug me. He was a great influence on me and encouraged me in so many ways. He sadly passed away of cancer many years ago, but I still have very fond memories of him.

Claire - registerlady@yahoo.co.uk

Teresa said...

My mom is elderly now, I guess I am heading in that direction as well. She taught me to knit over 50 years ago and, bless her heart, she is still knitting to this day. She's nearly blind now from macular degeneration, so her days of fine lace knitting are long gone. But she still knits with big yarn and big needles. She also taught me to crochet and to sew and to cook and bake and Oh so many other things. She was talented in ways that I never will be and I'm very happy to still have her in my life.

I love you Mom!

jen said...

My grandmother was a huge influence in my life, although I realized it more after she died. How I wish I had been a better granddaughter to her! I hope she knew how much I appreciated her calm, understated manner, always teaching without prodding. From her I learned a devotion to nature and being kind to all creatures.

Anonymous said...

My grandmother who had the patience to teach me to knit-a skill that I find so valuable today!
(mamagiff on ravelry)

Anonymous said...

I loved your post. My MIL is my inspiration. She taught me how to crocht and encourages my creativity. She is 96 and still wants to know what I am working on.

nsusanroberts@hotmail.com

Blissie Jane Butler said...

My grandmother, Woodie Walker, who know if living would be 105. She was extraordinary, earning a masters degree in education when that was unlikely for women. Always a trooper, she lived gracefully through the depression and WWII and then taught in her community starting out in a one room schoolhouse in rural Oklahoma until retirement in the 70s. Who knows how many students she infected with her love of learning. She made the best slaw in the world, and my favorite moments were visiting her in the summertime. Although shy and self-effacing she was my inspiration. I miss everything about her; even her crankiness when faced with challenge.

Bliss

blissiejane@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

My grandmothers were not role models for me but my mother was. Her mother did not encourage her but my mom was very generous with sharing her hard won knowledge. She was largely self taught and was very supportive in my creative endeavors. She loved to share. Today would have be her 86th birthday. Thanks Mom! gnlmutti at gmail dot com

Randi Anderson said...

My Grampa Everett, grandfather extraordinaire and best buddy for 42 years. He was an amazing carpenter and taught me a lot which has enabled me to do light carpentry wherever I have lived and thinking of him every time I do! Randi [GMaggie on Ravelry]

Mary Pat Morris said...

My paternal grandmother was accomplished in all things to do with needles. She knitted, crocheted, embroidered, did original needle point and mended lace for the area shops. She started teaching me at a very early age and I couldn't wait for our visits as together we would head for the 5 & 10 for the next project! I still have one little instruction book and have used it when teaching my grandaughters to knit.

Knitting became a passion and although I dabble in the other crafts handed down to me, knitting remains a joyous memory of my Grandmother.

Mary Pat Morris
Gogogrammo@msn.com

AllisonInPhilly said...

My fathers mother taught me how to embroider and crochet, and the hand crafting went on from there.

Debbie said...

That would be my Mom. she was always sewing something and I got my love of crafting from her.
gussek on Ravelry

Cathy said...

That person would be my grandmother. She was a fantastic knitter and also crocheted and sewed. I spent many, many days with her. Mornings were filled with chores and after lunch she would always knit while watching a soap opera or two. Soon it would be time to make dinner or fold the load of laundry on the clothesline. I never knit a stitch or fold sheets without thinking of her. If she was still living, we would be celebrating her 112th birthday on New Year's Day!

enders DOT cj AT gmail DOT com

NancyP said...

Kristin,
Thank you for sharing the stories of your Grandmother. She was a special woman, indeed.
There were three women in my life who influenced me by their skills with handwork and cooking -- my maternal great grandmother, my maternal grandmother and my mother. My great grandmother and grandmother both crocheted. My mother taught me to knit, sew and cook. My mother also gave me a love of all things paper. Mygrandmother continued to crochet afhgans until shortly before her death although she was losing her vision as a result of mascular degeneration. Although her afghans had unusual shapes as a result of her low vision, they continue to keep me warm.
Nancy
nanfleur on ravelry

Christine Marie Chen said...

Hmmm... an older person in my life - past or present - that influenced me? I would have to say my mom. She's always been spirited, strong willed and crafty. I'm actually the first generation knitter in my family, but I owe my craftiness to my mom. She was a seamstress. She sewed matching dresses for herself, my sister and I every Christmas growing up. She now enjoys making beautiful jewelry. My Ravelry ID is needle2needle

Natalie said...

Your post made me cry...my "Mim" was the most important woman in my life until she passed away 2 years ago, at 99. She taught me to cook, quilt, garden and crochet. I see the same, deep love for my Mim in your words about your grandmother!

Natalie

Nataliekanaby@hotmail.com

Ms. Knitsalot said...

My grandmother was a big inspiration for me when it came to my knitting and crochet. She always has a project in her hand and always took the time to admire my work. We would sit and compare yarn, needles, hooks, magazine patterns, etc. She is now 93 and can't crochet as much because of her hands and eyesight. She still lights up though when I bring a project to her and she always has a question or comment about what I'm working on. She seems to be comforted by having her yarn and hook by her side, even if she's not working the yarn like she used to. Thanks for the giveaway!

Turtle said...

I would have to say my husbands grandparents. To use if you pictures Hepburn & Tracy you had them.... and we are so much like them! I mean in personality, how you are with each other, etc. These grandparents sat with me in our second year of marriage and gave me all the family history and photos to go with it. I compiled it all in a scrapbook for the family which was wonderful when their dementia kicked in. They loved it. We would go camping with them while they were in their early 80's and have a blast. They shared music together, playing in bands and orchestras... hubby and I have as well for 21 so far.Hubby and I have always loved how their marriage was, both the good and the bad as they handled life/things together. They were married for 70 years and passed within 10 months of each other at 94. I was always close to them and enjoyed spending mornings with coffee and grandad doing the crossword puzzle or baking with Bessie....they are missed and we try to be like them every day. (my gram is a very close first as well, but thats another story)

Kayla Shumway said...

I am the only knitter in my family, but my grandmother has inspired me a lot in other ways. My grandmother loves antiques and art, and as a child, going to her house was always an adventure. I loved looking at all the old "treasures" she had lying around, and her walls are filled with paintings and her own photography. To this day, I love going to her house, and a lot of my sense of style comes from hers. She and my mother are also excellent cooks, and I learned everything I know about cooking from them.

Kayla (knittercrobe on ravelry)

Gill said...

What a fabulous story about your grandma Frieda!
As a child born to older parents I never really knew my grandparents but my father's brother, Uncle Bart played a huge part in my life until he died in 2001 aged 94

asteride said...

You've been blessed by this amazing person in your life. Me too. My grandmother taught me to knit and crochet and she is always in my thoughts. Very generous for you to host a giveaway with yarn. The best gift ever. I do not know if I'm entitled to win, because I live in Europe but in the remote hypothesis I win it would be nice to donate the yarn to a local school or to a place where a little girl or a little boy can learn to crochet or knit or just express her/his creativity with yarn. Thank you for your generosity.

Anonymous said...

I had a grandmother who sewed, crocheted, and gardened. Her healthy lifestyle influenced mine. When I wanted an outfit that did not come in my size (I was very little for my age), she would sew up a teenage skirt, dye a bra a color, whatever it took. She always had a smile.
Francis
fab126bv@aol.com

Carolyn said...

I have to name two people for the two activities I enjoy most - my Mom (for knitting) and my piano teacher. My Ravelry ID is KnitteronCapeCod

Patti said...

My grandmother taught me how to embroider tea towels, and I still use embroidered tea towels to remind me of her. Every stitch is a gratitude to have had such a talented lady in my life.

Barb T. said...

My mother is/was the greatest inspiration in my life and always will be. Although we lived in a home with all the amenities, my mother was an early homesteader putting many wannabes to shame. She grew her own veggies, sewed, knitted, hooked rugs, xx stitched, embroidered, made soap, dried foods and the list goes on. This was all at a time when it was considered somewhat odd, but my mom marched to her own music always. She always appreciated nature and her bounty. Shortly before she passed away, I had re taken up knitting. She was so proud when I made her a hat for her daily morning walk. She taught me everything I know about life, etc. I will always miss her.
barblt99@yahoo.com

Ana said...

Oh my! LOVED reading the story about Grandma Frieda...so sweet, so significant. My mother passed her love of fiber crafting to me....and not just the love, but the necessity. She remembers knitting socks for the cold French soldiers passing through the mountains of Spain. She remembers her mother and sisters mending the runs in their precious stockings. She remembers scratchy woolen underwear. The necessity of knitting is as much a part of me in this 21st century as is the love. Thank you for making me reflect.
Ana
anahuron@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Kristin like you had have a wonderful grandmother. One of the things I remember the most is how she tought me to make chicken and dumplins. As my grandmother has grown older I have taken over the blessing making the much loved meal for my family.

Donna

immalooney@msn.com

Knocked Up and Nursing said...

Honestly, I've never had an older person in my life who really inspired me or was there at all. My family didn't live anywhere close to extended family when we were growing up. But that changed when I married my husband and met his grandfather. What a lovely, kind, gentle man!

Joyce said...

My Aunt Dorothy inspired me greatly. More in my emotional life. Whenever we would visit her house I felt such love. II am older now, and try to touch the lives of other young girls in the same way.

Tina B Shannon said...

My Grandma was essentially saved my life by caring for me when my mother & father were unable to. She made me feel cared for, loved & capable too. She taught me how to crochet, among other things. She taught me the virtue of putting one foot in front of the other in order to keep going, and to create a little beauty while doing so.

Marianna said...

What a lovely tribute to someone you loved so much. My grandmother was a very elegant lady and taught me much in the short times I had with her. One of my best summers was when I lived with my grandparents during a summer break from college. I had a job far from home but down the street from them. I loved coming home for lunch and she would sit with me doing her needlepoint while I had lunch and we talked about our day.
yarnbasket on rav

Anonymous said...

~ What a loVely tribute Kristin ~

A special person who influenced me was my British House-Mum, Annie Murdoch. Although I did learn knitting, sewing, felting and such from my petite Auntie & my Mother, Janet and crochet from Grandma Elsie, Annie Murdoch instilled in me,(at age 13) the confidence to be an independent person & artist. She was sweet, stern, matter-of-fact get things done, try, try, try and make things beautiful for others, a loVely lady.
How nice to dream of what I'd make with such a collection of your beautiful colors !!
Best,
Shell ~
YarnSoup@yahoo.com

slmiller8 said...

I'm a physical therapist who works mainly with older patients. Practically everyday is a learning experience for me as I see how different people deal with becoming older, pros and cons, and try to stay positive and active, and learn from their examples.

toomanyufos on ravelry

Judy W said...

My grandmother was also a huge influence in my life, and I still miss her (she died in 1984). She mostly quilted and sewed, but she was supportive of all of my creative endeavors. I sewed, knitted, and crocheted, and now I also quilt. I treasure her quilts and still have many of them. My Ravelry name was chosen in her honor: Mimisgirl.

Anonymous said...

I had the Southern Matriarch influence my Great-grandmother lived to be 92, I knew her my entire life growing up as she lived with my grandmother.She was born 1892. My Great-Grandmother Lizzie was the daughter of slaves, she owned her farm,provided for her family . She was a great cook. She also tatted, crocheted,and quilted. She was a no nonsense woman and instilled a great work ethic and volunteered in the church. Her influence in my life is a reason I became an RN and work with the elderly. Little did I know her needle craft skills have landed me in the land of knitting,spinning and dyeing:-) Growing up in the land of Cotton is a far cry from wool fleece,Llamas,alpacas,sheep and bunnies!
Jackie ( I'm petmom on ravelry)

Robin said...

My beloved Granny....she passed away almost 8 years ago and I miss her greatly. It comforts me to know that her legacy lives on in me. At the age of 6 she would give me scraps of fabric, needle and thread...teaching me how to patchwork quilt. She taught me how to crochet and knit at the age of 8. Forty years later when I teach someone the craft or a technique I know my Granny lives on!

Trudy Bourn said...

Both my mom and grandma were avid knitters and crocheters. As a child I watched them for hours turning out the most beautiful items. I learned to knit a little, but got discouraged because I my items always looked so bad. Fast forward many years - after my kids were all grown up, I finally picked up knitting again and found that I could cast on, knit, purl, and bind off without even thinking about it. It started a passion for knitting in me and today I knit and teach knitting and love it. I am thankful for mom and grandma who had in impact on my life. I wish they were still alive to be a part of this.

Beth Ferrier said...

Her name was Ruby. I never did know her last name. She was a faithful student at a senior day center. It was my first official "job" as a teacher in fiber arts.

Really, it was an opportunity for me to commune with adults while my boys played in the center's day care.

But Ruby came to me with deep doubts that she could learn how to crochet. Her husband told her that it was a waste of time, she was too stupid to learn anything new.

I was in awe of how Ruby changed as she mastered each new skill in her projects. She gained so much self confidence, and it spread well beyond her crochet.

It taught me that teaching women to crochet (or any of the other fiber arts) is far from frivolis, it can be life changing. It set me on my path to my current career as a quilting teacher and author.

Ruby is gone now, but she will remain in my heart for all the lessons she taught me, while I taught her to crochet.

Cate said...

My Mom came to mind first. She was a Home Ec teacher and was a terrific seamstress and knitter. I soaked it up and spent a lot of my time in high school and college sewing much of my own clothing as that was the only way I could afford new outfits. She's now unable to knit or sew herself and I've made her a quilt and a sweater in the past two years that have completely delighted her.

This is such a fun prize -- I hope I'm lucky this once!

Jenny said...

Today is my bday...so, perhaps I'll get lucky!?

What a special recipe box keepsake!Your gma's stollen looks just like the same recipe my mom makes (she's from Austria, and I believe it's a recipe from her German cookbook).

My email is grdepa@yahoo.com

Judy said...

Dear Kristen, My Grandma Orpha sounds just like yours. She was an amazing needle worker and along with her two sisters we had the most beautiful sweaters, Christmas stockings and doll clothes. I think of her often and wished I could share with her what I am knitting now, she would have loved the internet and Ravelry! Thanks for sharing your memory, made me think about Grandma, Judy/norskiknits

Claudia Horner said...

When I was six, our next door neighbor was a lovely patient elderly lady named Miss Daisy. She was the most generous soul and never seemed to mind when I popped over to see what she was making, because she was always making something wonderful. Miss Daisy quilted (I still have a log cabin chair cushion she made), tatted, crocheted, knitted, sewed,and baked the most divine fluffy home-made dinner rolls, as well as tended a tiny garden around her little Victorian house in our country village of Victorian houses. She inspired me to believe I could make whatever I tried. What a gift of time she had for an inquisitive 6-year-old. I hope to be as kind, patient, and generous as Miss Daisy with anyone who wants to learn how to make something wonderful and pleasing to the eye. Thanks for helping me remember! claudiahorner at yahoo dot com

kimberly kevern said...

I had a gammy who was always making something, she was a quilter, baker, dinner maker.i started first with crochet then quickly jumped into all of the other areas of creativity. I now have one of her pans sitting in my kitchen that was always sitting on her stove with something good in it.Hoping to be a lucky winner

Molly said...

I hate to be cliche but I'm going to have to go with my mother on this one. When I was growing up I didn't really appreciate her raising five girls ...sewing clothes, underwear and doll clothes ... raising bees ... making yogurt, wine, brandy, cheese ... quilting ... teaching sewing classes ... being a girl scout leader ... getting her pilot's license at age 47 .... being a surgical nurse ... becoming a master gardener ... etc, etc, etc.


Of course, now that I'm a mother I'm in total awe of what an amazing woman she is and so incredibly grateful I was blessed with her as my mother.

may knits said...

There are many wonderful people in my life who haved influenced me. In this instance my grandmother come to mind. She taught me how to crochet and although she doesn't know how to knit, she bought me my fist knitting needles.

Pat Hensley said...

My mother was always very crafty. She could sew anything and made my clothes when I was growing up and even made my wedding gown. My sisters inherited all her craftiness but I knew I never did. My mother tried to teach me how to sew and knit but I hated it. About 5 years ago when I retired, I decided to learn how to crochet and knit. I am amazed how much I love it now! Even though it has been 20 years since my mother has passed away, I feel so connected to her through my new love of knitting.

Debi (deblamon on rav) said...

My mother had the most influence on my crafting. She could figure out how to make anything out of practically nothing. Every time I help my kids with a last minute gift or project I think of her.

Ketra said...

My person is my dad. My mom left us when I was young. When I was growing up, we didn't watch TV. Instead my dad and I spent hours and hours making art at the kitchen table. He was always experimenting and always supportive of my efforts. Because of him, I love creating.

Anonymous said...

I have enjoyed reading these comments. For me it was my Grandmother Zona who taught me needlework First there were sewing cards- cardboard with pictures and holes. Then it was embroidery, then spool knitting with a wooden spool with nails that Grandpa fixed for me. Then she taught me to knit. Recently I was delighted to have one of my granddaughters ask me to teach her to crochet. Thanks - Cindy
I am kidnurse on Ravelry

Anonymous said...

My very own Mother kept me busy with knitting needles and to this day....I consider it my IV Valium...when things get hectic...i know I can reach for my needles and the world it calm for awhile!
ravelry: rxqueen314

Emily said...

I read this earlier in the week and it made me cry so I had to go away and come back!!! (in a good way) It made me think of my grandma, Doris Emily. She did Thanksgiving for the whole family every year and made it look so easy! Now it's me doing it, and using many of her recipes, especially the pumpkin pie. I love some of her recipes "butter the size of a walnut" "broth a little--not too much". Miss her.

d said...

None of the women in my family were especially "domestic." They weren't great cooks or bakers, seamstresses, knitters, etc., but they all LIVED life in an all-embracing way. My grandmother and her younger sister each lived to be 99 - and danced the macarena at Gram's birthday party! Now THAT'S inspiration!

phaedra96 said...

My grandmother was my rock and mainstay through my chaotic childhood. She taught me to needlepoint when I spent the summer with her after graduating high school...I sure wish it had been knitting, too. Took me forty more years, but I knit. I miss her still.

Lilea said...

I have been inspired by two women in my life, my Grandma and my Aunt Doris (both on my father's side). My Grandma was an awesome seamstress, crafter and jewelry maker. She sewed all my Barbie and Ken clothes. I learned so much from her. She bought me my first knitting needles when I was very young, maybe 5. I "practiced" the basic knit stitch for years making coasters, doll blankets, etc. It was when I was about 14 that my Aunt Doris taught me how to read a pattern and all the skills needed to make mittens! My life was changed for ever!

Lori Ann said...

It would be my dear British friend, Theo, who I met when I worked in Boston right from college. Theo was probably in her 60's or 70's at that point and we used to go to her home in Maine on the weekend, go antiquing and eat lobster rolls. She was an amazing woman who had led a very interesting life. Most of my friends (in their 20's) could not understand why I would spend my weekends with "an old lady" but I will always cherish our friendship and wonderful lessons I learned!

Lori Ann said...

oops! Forgot - after mentioning Theo - to give you an email: lajakuc@gmail.com!

JenD said...

My grandmother, she taught me to knit, sew,a nd quilt. She is still with us for precious little time, but what she taught me will live on in crafts.

jenni_412@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

I guess I would have to say that my sweet mother was my greatest teacher and cheerleader of needlework. She was very busy as a dairy farmer's wife but found time to do quilts and beautiful embroidery. She loved to help me do my projects from the time I was about 10 yrs.old. Sometimes I wish so much that I had paid more attention as a young married woman and enjoyed her instructions more. Many good memories with her.
Thanks for the giveaway. Happy Thanksgiving with your family and peace to you all.

Anonymous said...


sorry forgot to put my e-mail on the above comment.
gbundy@windstream.net
Ruby

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Both of my grandmothers could sew, but my mom never had any interest. Our next door neighbor, Betty, taught me to knit when I was about 9 or 10. I never took off with it, but just now am learning to crochet and knitting will be next! I've been rug hooking for several years. Love the wool! I think Betty enjoyed teaching me to knit because she only had sons. She was a wonderful cook too and her family enjoyed a homemade dessert every night and they were all thin! I still remember her Spry shortnening recipe for pineapple lemon refrigerator cake, frosted with whipped cream! It was my dad's favorite and became his annual birthday cake! She would come over every week for my mom to do her hair. No, my mom was not a beautician, but just had a knack. I miss growing up in the late fifties and early sixties when there was a real sense of neighborhood and community!

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

P.S. Forgot to leave my email: stickhorsecowgirls @gmail.com

Brenda said...

I played the violin all through school, and my teacher, Miss Pedigo was who I wanted to be when I grew up. I am 50 now, and I ran into her at the library over the summer. She kept telling me to call her Carol, but I couldn't do it. Even though she has been married since, she will always be "Miss Pedigo" to me.

Jessica said...

My great aunt May has always been a source of inspiration for me. She lived with my grandparents and helped take care of my dad and his 5 siblings. She loved all of us like her own grandchildren. She made almost everything that she wore and to this day we have many of her crafts - baby dolls, small little dried flowers in frames (made from scrap wood from the property). She was always creating and always giving. She is forever an inspiration to me!
jmontagna10 at gmail dot com

Vanessa Carta said...

My grandmother recently passed away and she always tried to teach me crochet when I was younger but never took the interest. Since she has been gone I have become very good at crochet and even though I can't crochet with her, I will always remember her and what she has done to inspire me.

email: vanessamhuggins [at] gmail [dot] com

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry i missed your contest, but I must say that that was a beautiful way to celebrate such a wonderful woman that meant so much to you. If you dont mind I think I will do the same type of thing in remeberance of my great grandmother next May. Hopefully by then i will have my farm blog up with all of my piggies and knitting projects and all of the wonderous things we all take for granted. Bless you and your family.

Eda Poulsbo Washington