May 13, 2011

The Big Secret Project Revealed...

A grandma's taste is always a bit different from that of her grandchildren. Gifts from her hands are sometimes not fully appreciated because of style, color or size.

One gift from mine was a bright orange, green and black ripple afghan. Nice and toasty warm, but man, it was uuuuuglyyyy! My grandmother and I worked out that awkwardness when I told her that I'd love more of her handmade gifts, if she would let me choose and purchase the yarns. (I used the excuse that I didn't want her spending her retirement money on me.) She allowed me to choose my own yarns and from then on, every creation made me smile.

Grandma was a prolific crocheter, keeping her hands busy by creating gifts for each of her eleven grandchildren - and eventually her twenty four great grandchildren and nine great great grandchildren.
On one of my visits to see her in Wisconsin, she gave me this sweater. Not as a gift to wear (not really my first choice of colors), but as a pattern to make one of my own. She and I managed to spend a little time crocheting together and she knew that my favorite pattern is granny squares. I think she really liked that her eldest granddaughter had learned her favorite pastime.

I always took her bags full of yarn, with no request for something in return. I just tried to make sure that she could keep her hands busy with a new project to share with someone else in the family.
So, here is the inspiration for all those granny squares you've seen me creating. I'm going to put them all together into a sweater fashioned after my grandma's.

Grandma died in March of this year at the age of 97. She lived a long and full life and she left behind many reminders of her handwork. I'm glad I have this one (along with all those afghans she made especially for me), so that I can carry on her tradition of making sweaters from grannies.

I'm still crocheting at night to finish making my squares, but as soon as it's all assembled, I promise to model it for you. I think Grandma would smile.

On another note...I'm sure by now you all know that Blogger was down all day Friday. I just want you to know that I won't be posting on Fridays for the foreseeable future. I'm sure that you all understand that it just doesn't feel right to me to post on Friday without Fezzik. Don't worry. I'm doing better, so please don't be sad for me. I think I'll just leave Fridays silent for a while.

23 friends clicked here to leave a note for me:

Charlene said...

The minute I saw the crochet(before I read the story...) I thought of my precious Grandmother. For she also spent many hours with her fingers flying. AND I HAD MANY OF THOSE UGLY BLANKETS! But, the love that went into them can not have a price put on them. Oh to spend one more day in the safety of her arms... Thanks for sharing those memories my sweet friend. SENDING HUGE HUGS YOUR WAY! LOVE & Strength from a friend who knows the road you walk. HUGS!
Charlene

Shirley said...

Hi Donna, I thought I would drop you a note before I head to bed. With blogger down it, I couldn't leave the comments that I so wanted to do. I have a sweater made of granny squares that my mother made for me. My husband's aunt will be 100 years old and she still is making afghans, baby quilts or whatever to keep her mind and fingers active. I will be anxious to see your finished sweater. Have a wonderful weekend, Your Missouri Friend.

Twyla and Lindsey said...

Dear Donna, I understand, Friday's are not the same without Fezzie. I loved your story about your grandma. How loving of her to make so many things for you her grandchildren. I look forward to seeing your finished sweater. Twyla

NoMimikry said...

Hello,

what a wonderdull idea from your Grandma to live you the jacket as a sample and now you can make your own version and think to her!
Xxx
Mimi

Quiltin' Sandy said...

Hi Donna, thanks for sharing your story. I have made a few granny square rugs but I have never seen a sweater made from them- I think I have seen a poncho though. They would be SO warm, too.
We all understand your feelings about Fridays, it isn't the same for us readers either, you have to do what feels right for you. Your Grandmother sounds like she had a happy and full life, that is all any of us could wish for. Hugs from Sandy- your Aussie friend. :)

Hazel said...

I love the crochet and the crochet sweater. Very cool. I made my first Ugly blanket a few years ago and it was just a way of teaching myself so just used up whatever yarn I had. Now I am a bit more choosy but I will always love that first Ugly blanket. xx

Madame Samm said...

Ok, you got me Donna, I would have never ever guessed this... Always nice to have something from our GrandMumm's...

re: Blogger still has not been able to bring back all the comments, but they are still working on that...

Quilt Kitty said...

Lovely story about your Grandma. She must have enjoyed your time together immensely. Good idea about Fridays, keep them for your special memories & blogging for another day. Tracee xx

GerryART said...

These squares are going to work up into one beautiful sweater.
hugs

Carol at Serendipity said...

Donna,

Glad I got a sneak preview yesterday! I like the new look on your blog. Very crisp.

Have a wonderful day my friend. Hope to see you soon.

Carol

Rettabug said...

That will be the perfect little cover up for a cool FL evening...or an air conditioned restaurant!! I always kept a white sweater in the car, in case church or where ever we went, I was freezing.

I agree with you on Fridays....just wouldn't seem right. :/

Raspberries and Rose Petals said...

My Gramma was a quilter and she made each of her grandkids a quilt. Mine is unfinished, unfortunately, as she became ill before she could finish it. Someday I will have it done so I can enjoy it. When she died I was given a box of squares she had cut for her next project. I'm not a quilter, but can sew. So I made a wall hanging out of the squares. Both are very dear to me!

It is awesome that you are carrying on the tradition started by your Grandma! And I can't wait to see your finished sweater! I would have never guessed!

Hugs!
Lori

Lululiz said...

It is wonderful that you have so many great memories of sharing happy crocheting hours with your grandmother. And to have such sweet pieces made by her is fantastic. I used to craft a lot with my grandmother as well, she taught me so much, and I treasure the few little things made by her which I have managed to hold on to.

Createology said...

Yes, Blogger was being very bad for a very long time. I was going to guess that your granny squares were really an optical illusion and only 1" in size and that you were making a tea cozy with so many. However I love the sweater so much. I too learned how to crochet from my Grandma and I also have one of her afghans that she entered in the fair where it won a blue ribbon however the colors are so not attractive to me and funny thing it was her least favorite afghan she ever made out of hundreds crocheted. Miss Donna I think silent Fridays in honor of Fezzik is very fitting. Happy weekend to you enjoying what you love doing...

Suzann said...

Oh my!! That is amazing.

ImagiMeri said...

Hey pretty lady,

I love the cardigan......I think the colors are amazing....I know I'm weird! My husband doesn't have many happy memories of his mother, but she did knit both him and his brother an extremely looooong scarf each, exactly in the same pattern as the one the original Dr. Who wore back in the 60's. He never wears it, but I've carefully washed it and placed it in a vacuum sealed bag for posterity. I can't wait to see your project, as it will be perfect!

Love ya'
Meri

Dani said...

what a pretty sweater...you are giving me inspiration as I just started crocheting again after many years....!

Carol said...

Hi Donna
My mom was the granny square crocheter and she never made me one thing. But my Grandma Laura, well SHE was the real crocheter. She crocheted the most beautiful doilies and never used a pattern. Her motifs were always round and always from whatever her fingers felt like doing. They were beautiful and very intricate..and usually pink.

Cozy Little House said...

Wow, you still had a grandma! She did live a long and full life. And one where she kept her hands mighty busy!
Brenda

Cozy Little House said...

Wow, you still had a grandma! She did live a long and full life. And one where she kept her hands mighty busy!
Brenda

MosaicMagpie said...

I am lucky enough to have my Grandmother still, she is 96. The handwork I have of hers is a treasure. How nice to have this example to make other sweaters in the colors of your choice.
Deb

Michelle May (Shell) said...

It's beautiful and so was your grandma. I'm sorry I didn't know she had passed on in March. Hugs for her and for your heart. What a lovely person she was and I know she was so happy and blessed to have you as her granddaughter.
xx, shell

Indigo Blue said...

My Grandma was more into knitting. She came to live with our family when I was coming up 15. However, during the time she lived with us I never saw her knit. Not sure why although towards the end it was likely to be eye sight problems. Pride would prevent her from saying anything though. I loved reading this post. I would love to see this project when you have finished as I am about to embark on my first crochet garment. Fear is preventing me from actually starting of course as I think I could look awful in the finished item. It too uses granny squares but more of a jumper/tunic style.
xx

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