Monday, February 9, 2009

Handmade Heritage-Maternal

It is late afternoon here, slowly creeping in to night and I am musing about my heritage. I grew-up in a very crafty family. Both sides of my family are really into handwork. From Crewl embroidery to crochet/knitting to Quill work. So I decided to share my thoughts on the two sides of my family. I will start with Mama-san's side. Recently, Aughra has decided that congestive heart failure really does mean she may not survive it and has started clean out her house. I received two precious objects from her recently. One is the first ever piece of knitting she ever did.

Aughra made this little cream (white?) sweater for my uncle when he was born. We are talking 1949 or so. It has been a little moth-eaten since the time it was worn by her little boy and is an awkward little thing. 60 some-odd years ago someone (her mother-in-law so the story goes) told Aughra that she couldn't knit and she would never be able to keep a house. The knitter in question is a very stubborn woman. Nobody tells her what she can or can't do. So she taught herself to knit. This sweater has a wrap type closure with crocheted trim around the neck. There is some dissension as to whether or not it is worked in acrylic yarn. Mama-san believes that it is acrylic based on Aughra's social class at the time. I don't know of any moths that eat acrylic.

The 2nd item is also made for my uncle when he was a toddler. This navy sweater has color work on it. She worked the nursery rhyme 'Hey diddle diddle' on it. There is a little grey cat playing the fiddle, a dog with his tongue lolling out in a happy smile and a cow jumping over a red moon. You can see on the cow where it has been stained by baby food. This sweater has no moth holes in it. So I am certain this one is made of acrylic.

I love handmade things. They represent time to me. When we make something for someone specific, we think about them during the time we spend on it. If it's for our soon-to-be child, our hope and dreams are work in to the object as we go. These little sweaters were made by a young mother deeply in love with the man of her dreams and are full of love for her 'Sunshine'.

As I was growing up, my hands always had to be busy. It was a rule in Aughra's house. Idle hands and what not. Mama-san and Aughra have always had something crafty going on. When I was very little, we were always working on something for the Church bazaar. Then Aughra decided to build a miniature town in her basement. Mama-san and her had an interior decorating business once. Always busy there. And as we go through her house all these ventures surface. Such good memories.

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