Knitting, Crocheting, Sewing

Knitting, Crocheting, Sewing — “Lost” Arts Found Again

“My” McClay Library* has a Readers and Stitchers group that meets monthly, and my sister has Stitch-In twice a month at her library.  For a few years it seemed that needlework would become a lost art, and then there was a resurgence, thank goodness!


Grandma made beautiful lace on handkerchiefs and pillow cases, and clever little crocheted pouches to hold our milk money for school.  She taught all of her grand-daughters to crochet, but I was left-handed, a “puzzlement” until she happened upon a book with left-handed directions.  “You’re good with books,” she said, “so this will help.”  I realized much later that she could have taught me knee-to-knee instead of side by side, but the book did help.

Mary and Mother, Verna004

A Junior Achievement friend taught me to knit in high school, and I found that knitting in class helped me relax and focus.  A few of my teachers didn’t like it, but in a rare act of rebellion, I persisted.  Knitting during political meetings in college earned me the soubriquet of “Madame Defarge.”   I’ve also taught others, because even with so many books and other conveyances of knowledge, the best way to learn is to have someone show you one-to-one. I’ve knitted many sweaters, some with storybook themes, and many, many baby hats, gifts to those I’ve met along the way.

Hats for baby Emily. blueberry2 Peterson026


And water bottle holders are very handy . . .





When Mom was sick, I knitted sweaters for her grandchildren’s stuffed bears.  These were the perfect small and quick projects, on which we could consult and plan colors and patterns when she felt up to it.  Stephen didn’t like that his bear’s sweater was sleeveless, so I knitted two sleeves and called for him to come over (Mom was home by then) with bear and sweater.  With very little assistance, he sewed the sleeves on himself with the precision of a master craftsperson.  It runs in the family . . .



Mom crocheted and sewed with great talent.  She sewed most of our clothes, better quality, better fit, and less expensive than any that could have been purchased.  I loved picking out pattern and fabric and having Mom create something just for me.  I only mastered basics, but when I first developed an allergy to latex, Mom, who wasn’t sewing much then, advised me as I made non-latex garments.  It felt very like “Little House on the Prairie” . . . “and then Mary spent the afternoon sewing undergarments.”  I managed a perfectly presentable swimsuit, too, but I was glad when Decent Exposures began making latex-free clothing.

I rather wish I had some of the clothes Mom made me . . . but I “wore them and wore them until I wore them out.”

Reference “The Thrifty Tailor”

Kate Dudding’s variation on that story with knitting pattern


* McClay also hosts our Story Swap 6:30 pm on the second Monday of the month, just a few days from now 😉

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