I had planned for this to be a quick post with a quick snap as this is the third Chloë I’ve knitted for Button…this time in Debbie Bliss Eco, which is a delight to knit with. Will I ever tire of this pattern. It’s almost too cute. But there is little else for me to say about it.
But, as I was sewing in the ends and crocheting the little tie strings, something else occurred to me.
Button and The Boy were both asleep in bed. Mr S and I were watching a film with a glass of wine to hand. Just a perfectly ordinary evening Chez Stitches.
Until I realised that I was the umpteenth woman in our family to be replicating this scenario in some shape or form.
Ma Stitches knits, sews clothes, quilts and embroiders. She’s even been known to crochet on occasion. My maternal grandmother was a whiz with all needles. Even as an elderly woman, with almost no sight, she crocheted by touch alone. That’s three generations to start with.
Three generations of women sat of an evening creating a tiny garment with care and love for the small person sleeping above their heads.
For my mother it was a financial necessity. For me it’s about creating something a little different. Either way the same amount of time, effort, skill and love goes into the garment.
I remember some of the amazing creations that Ma came up with. Some of them hysterical on reflection (the big fluffy snowman sweater that I know she sat up into the small hours of Christmas morning to finish for me). Fabulous horse’s heads on long, warm sweaters to wear with jodhpurs and boots on a cold winters morning at the riding stables.
As the years past the patterns became more elaborate and intricate, and yet still the traditional birthday or Christmas sweater awaited me under the tree.
So, as I pinned the little Chloë out to block, I remembered these sweaters and the effort that had gone into them (Ma worked more than one job…she didn’t have the luxury of being a stay at home mother as I do). I remembered the pleasure they gave me and the pride I took in them. And I realised that my small efforts in creativity join me to the women in my family, as well as to all the women in the community at large who knit and sew and create for their homes and their families and their selves.
I am proud of these connections.
Most of all I’m grateful to my mother and my grandmother for paving the way for me and laying the foundations of the skills I have today. And as my niece begins to explore her creativity with a sewing machine and an embroidery needle, it seems I’m not the last woman in our family to tread this path.