Wednesday, 25 April 2012

3KCBWDAY3 - My crafting hero

I greatly admire many designers, knitters and podcasters. Veera Valimaki, my Ravelry friends and greentrianglegirl of A Playful Day podcast and blog spring to mind.

My ultimate crafting hero is my paternal Grandmother who is sadly no longer with us. My Grandmother, Joan was a prolific crafter and artist. As far as I know she did not sell any of her work, though much of it was of an amazing quality. She inspires me to craft every day.

Tapestry rug handmade by Joan

When she passed away, we were shocked to discover how many of her clothes she had handmade. She had made all of the curtains in the house, all of the cushion and chair covers, all of the quilts and had even beautifully repaired some of her cane and wicker furniture.

The sheer amount of sewing, knitting, quilting, cooking, painting, gardening and crafting she did in her lifetime is definitely impressive. But she is my hero because of her fearlessness when it came to trying new skills and crafts. She was never ashamed of her mistakes because they always taught her something.

She taught me to hand-sew and showed me her latest projects whenever I visited her. She always involved me in all she did, be it gardening or needlepoint. When I was small, she sewed me pretty smocked dresses and knitted me jerseys and my very own Paddington Bear. She made me a huge, beautiful quilted dressing gown when I was 8 which I used every day and which still fit me until it finally fell apart when I was 15.

Her knitting needle gauge

Joan was born in 1922. The Second World War began when she was only 16. Growing up in such a uncertain time meant that she was very thrifty and never threw anything useful away. It always astounded me that her house was clutter-free and spotless until I realised that she was always on the go, hardly watched any television and cooked every meal from scratch. She only sat down to rest at about 4pm when everyone had a cup of tea and a slice of cake.

When she passed away in May 2011, it was a huge shock. She had always been so active and healthy.

I inherited her craft books and sewing machine which inspired me to learn to sew. It helped me grieve as I felt closer to her when I was sewing or reading her books. My Grandfather had been a bookseller so books have always played a big part in our family life!

I hope to continue learning new skills and crafts for the rest of my life, and to instil a respect for crafts in future generations just as my Grandmother did.

My Grandmother and I on Easter Sunday last year


  1. love the knitting needle gauge...the pic of the two of you is priceless

  2. Lovely post Ellie. I know from things you've said before how close you were to your Grandmother. She would be so proud of you.I wrote my post about my Mum and I expect you ended up as I did, getting a little emotional doing it (and my Mum's still with me!) but it's such a lovely thing to set your thoughts down x