When I was very young, a long, long time ago, my maternal grandparents were two of my favorite people. We saw them all the time and especially on weekends. They lived in Elizabeth, NJ and we lived in Roselle Park. It was a two-story home with tenants on the first floor. All the houses on those blocks were the same, and there were lots of them. Inside there was a living room, a dining room, an eat-in kitchen, two bedrooms and a bathroom which was down a short hall outside the front door. It’s still one of my favorite places to visit; even if it’s only in memories!
Here’s a picture of them, both with my mother, around the year 1930. The picture is hard to see and my grandmother is so pretty, and time just flies away!
My grandmother had a long closet in the corner near her bedroom; you accessed it from the kitchen actually, and I loved sitting under her hanging dresses and trying on all her high heels. In between the heavy fur coats and boxes with mothballs, there was always something interesting to discover.
By the time I was in junior high school, (nobody says that anymore) my grandmother had moved in with us in our new house. My grandfather had passed on years earlier, and my mom didn’t want her mother to being living all alone. So one of our bedrooms became her room.
Her one sewing passion was crochet. She would work with the smallest of tiny needles, and create beautiful circles of intricate lacy patterns, which I just marveled at! Time and time again, I would ask her to “show me how”, and she would patiently go through all the basics to crocheting. But, I never could figure it out. Yet, a few months later, there I was asking again.
By the time I was in high school my best friends mother was a knitter, and I ordered my first knitting kit because of her love of the craft. Little by little I taught myself the basic stitches and how to cast on and bind off. From there, it’s just been a love affair with knitting one thing after another.
Whenever I think about my grandmother (who died in 1992 at the age of 85), I remember her sitting in her bedroom in a round upholstered rocker in front of her tv, crocheting. She enjoyed making tablecloths and beautiful doilies, and I was fascinated at how simple yarn could be turned into the most useful of things to use around the house.
I’ve included a picture of a tablecloth she crocheted for me. She probably used something like Aunt Lydia’s Crochet Cotton thread because I remember many of these colorful “balls” sitting in a basket next to her rocker. I still put my tablecloth out on special occasions and love knowing that it is a special item that I will pass down to my daughter in time.
My grandmother had a love for all things simple. Like making pierogies and onions, or stuffed cabbage, and homemade cole slaw (the best in the world!). She took care of her dog and our dog, too, and cats as they came to live in our house. She could always be relied upon to sew a button or put a hem in just the right place. She loved her bingo games at the church every week, and never missed a “Bonanza” or “Lawrence Welk” episode.
Simple things. Good things. Like crocheting. Like knitting. In all times, in all seasons.
Take your knitting to heart!