Thursday, March 16, 2006


I was looking at this photo last night and realized that out of the eleven people in this picture, only three are not wearing hand knit garments.

This was taken at the airport, Halloween Day 1974, the day my family emmigrated to Canada. My sisters and I in red and white knitted coats, my dad, on the left, in his cable knit pullover, and my three cousins in hand knit sweaters too. My sister Sheila in the front, left is also holding a knitted doll called Dumpy Dora.(Thats my mum in the center, auntie above and grandma on the right).

Our Grandma use to knit us a new long coat every winter. She also made us pleated dresses that flaired out when we spun in circles, which of course we did. Between the efforts of our two grandmothers and our Mum, we also had hats, mitts, pullovers, cardigans, dolls, doll clothes and my favorite item was a muff. Remember those? A knitted tube that was hung by a cord around the neck, to put your hands in to keep them warm.

I remember Mum and Grandma, would take us to the park. Whilst we girls played on the swings, they would sit together on a bench with their knitting. I can see them in my memory side by side, nattering away, needles clacking.

Any time we watched TV, there would often be the accompanying sound of knitting needles clickety-clacking, as Mum would always have her knitting on the go. I don't know how she could watch TV and concentrate on knitting at the same time. She wouldn't even be looking down at the needles, and I don't know if she realized that she was counting stitches under her breath.

Sometimes, when we would go out, all us girls in matching coats, we would draw attention. Ladies would come up to us and croon over the craftsmanship. and the time it must have taken. Sometimes total strangers would even give us a bit of spending money because they thought we looked so cute.

When we got older, we didn't want to wear the knits anymore, a sweater perhaps, but not the coats and dresses. The kids at school, here in Canada didn't wear so many knits. Hats or the odd pullover maybe. When I was twelve years old, I thought that matching your sisters wasn't cute anymore, it was ridiculous.

I didn't appreciate the skill and effort that went into making such creations, untill I had children of my own.

I look back now and I realized, we were dressed in love.

Thanks MUM.


John said...

Great story, it's interesting how the way we dress changes with the decades and our age groups.

Jona said...

You've given me a memory rush too! And a drop of guilt, as i can also remember telling my mother and grandmother to stop knitting for me when I hit the teenage years ;o)

Times have changed, but you've summed it up beautiful, it was love we were wearing :o)

Bobbie said...

I've tried knitting but I'm so slow and have to look at and count each stitch. I enjoy crocheting though.
It's funny how looking at one picture can bring back so many memories.
Take care and enjoy your St. Paddy's Day.

ellen said...

My mom was a wonderful knitter, too, and my dolls and I were always beautifully dressed in unique handcrafted clothing.

Simply Coll said...

Such a lovely tribute to your grandma and mom. I envy their talent with the knitting needles. Love the photo.

Anonymous said...

Mum is still knitting, she needs an endless supply of grandchildren to knit for now. soon it will be great grandchildren she is knitting for.


oopseedaisee said...

Dont even go there. No great grandchildren for a lonnngggg time, thank you.