I’ve been sewing tonight (damn calisthenics costumes!) and it’s made me think of my mum.
She sewed a lot for me as a child. I remember calisthenics costumes she sewed – and she got the double whammy as I’m a twin, poor thing. There was a gorgeous princess dress – puffy short sleeves, a fitted bodice and A-line skirt in a satiny light blue, and a Pinocchio costume of shorts with braces and a white shirt. I’m sure there were others but they are the two costumes I remember.
A couple of years later there was also a ruffled peasant skirt with a broderie anglais blouse, and a corduroy a-line skirt with matching vest. Yes it was the ’70’s. Mum didn’t actually like sewing much, but she did it. She fair preferred knitting, and was a very talented knitter.
I got my love of knitting from my mum. I remember loving the jumpers she knitted me, as a child, as a teenager and as an adult. Unfortunately knitting was one of the first losses through Alzheimer’s. We weren’t aware that Mum was suffering from Alzheimer’s at that stage, and she blamed arthritis in her hands. Afterwards it was more apparent that she wasn’t able to follow the patterns anymore, and forgot where she was up to.
The last couple of things she knitted were a baby blanket and jumper for my first child. By the time Kid2 arrived, Mum had stopped knitting and within 18 months she was diagnosed. I still have the blanket and the jumper, and will keep them always.
I regret I didn’t keep the many jumpers she knitted and the clothes she sewed, but the sentimentality just wasn’t present then. I do have her knitting needles, and her old knitting box which has holes in the lid to determine the needle size – all imperial measurements of course. She used to have lots of old knitting patterns when I was a kid, but sadly they were discarded in a house move.
I have tried to pass my love of knitting and sewing on to my girls, but with no luck. It still may happen, but I think it’s unlikely. Perhaps I can have a go at the grandchildren, if I’m that lucky.