Thursday, December 6, 2012

Grandma Genevieve

Every morning while brushing my hair I think of Grandma Genevieve, my mother’s mother. GG had long, long hair when I was a teenager. She had long hair most of her life, but in the 1920s she cut it short, a bob, it was called. After she was married, she grew it out long again. When I was a teenager she used to brush her hair and compare her hair length with mine. Even though my hair was long, past my waist, hers was longer. She had strawberry blonde hair until she was in her 70s when it finally turned gray. She would wind it up into a kind of roll of hair around the circumference of her head and she would look wonderful.

GG was a fun grandmother. She was always intensely interested in what her grandkids were doing. She wanted to hang out with us instead of sit with the “boring grownups” she would say. She even began to learn how to use Tofu in her recipes because it would connect her with me, who had become a vegetarian and ate lots of Tofu!

GG taught me how to knit when I was a young girl. Mama knit all the time and one day while she was knitting and GG was visiting, GG said, “let’s knit Susie, you will like it”. Mama had tried to get me to learn but I wasn’t really interested until GG suggested it. She taught me how to knit “English” style because that was how she learned. She taught me with a very special pair of needles, my Dad’s Mom’s bone size 8 needles. I don’t remember what I knit, I don’t remember how old I was, I just remember that I have knit for a long time and I used those bone needles for many years.

Knitting runs in my family, like blue eyes.  Both my grandmothers knit. My Dad’s sister knit bathing suits for movie stars in Hollywood when she was a teenager and she knit every pair of socks her husband ever wore while they were married. My mother knit, in fact we would help her pick out a pattern and when she was finished knitting a sweater my sister and I would “borrow” it to wear to school. From the time I learned to knit from my GG, I would go with Mama to the local yarn store. I remember sitting at their big round table in the middle of the shop just fascinated at all the beautiful colors and textures of yarn. The ladies would let me touch the yarn and would encourage me in my knitting no matter how awful it really was. All I remember about those nice ladies was their gray hair and smiles. I now work in a yarn shop and I am the one with the gray hair! I have very fond memories of the Reseda Yarn Shop.

Who inspired you to knit? Did your Grandmother teach you? Or perhaps your Mother or Sister or friend? Did you always knit the same type of things; scarves, hats, mittens? We all have such interesting stories to tell about where and how we learned to knit or crochet, or spin or weave.

Would you like to share your story with us? We would love to hear from you. You may contact me at Just put Stories for Sue in the subject line and I will get right back to you!

Thanks for reading today and especially thanks to all those Grandmothers, Moms and Aunties out there that teach someone to knit, crochet, spin or weave on any given day. You all ROCK!


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