Did I ever tell you about my granma? She was 98 when she died, a few years ago. In the last few years of her life she went blind, but until that point she was very active.
She was a great knitter – not technically great, but very, very productive. When I was little, she used to knit clothes for me – cardigans, sweaters, and much dreaded vests (for my US readers, I don’t mean waistcoats, I mean underwear). She knitted them to last, so they always came down to my knees, and they were made from the scratchiest yarn, which very often changed colour halfway down the vest, where she had run out of yarn and started with another batch.
Thankfully, my mother never made me wear the vests.
Granma was very, very frugal. She did things with her weekly bath water that would make your hair stand on end, and her drawers were full of bits of string, old envelopes, and saggy rubber bands. So she never wasted a scrap of yarn, and her knits were always patchworks of different colours and textures.
Later in life, her favourite knitting project was slippers. She made them for everyone in the family, and for very favoured friends. They were garter stitch boats, with old carpet insoles. The tops had a drawstring, so you put them on like bags, tied the drawstring tight, and hoped for the best. They were warm and cosy, but lethal on polished floors and stairs.
I took up knitting after Granma died, which is a real shame. I like to think that we would have sat and knitted together, and she would have told me about the dashing costumes she had made herself when she was a girl in the 20’s. I think she would have been proud of my knitting, and delighted that a new generation was taking up sticks.
But she would have been horrified if she’d known how much I spend on yarn. £18 for enough cashmere to knit a pair of socks? Scandalous.
Never mind, Granma, I always save the little bits that are leftover. Even if I haven’t got a clue what to do with them.
(The photos are sneak peeks of this week’s sock yarn. Including the return – hurrah! – of Lucia. More peeks tomorrow.)