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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Family Knitter and Sweaters

Today I was delighted to learn from my paternal grandmother that her mother, Rosie Clay, my great-grandmother and namesake, was a knitter. I was so excited to learn this today; previously, I knew that several of my female ancestors crocheted and sewed most of their children's clothes, but had thought that I was the only knitter. My granny proceeded to show me the three sweaters that her mother knit and she even let me try them on. 

Rosie Clay had such an eye for detail. The sweater is knit entirely out of perfect stockinette stitch, the edge of the sleeves, collar, button band, and hem are crocheted scallops, and the front of the sweater is decorated with embroidered flowers and leaves. She also lined the shoulders and upper back of the sweater with thin fabric so that it would retain its shape. It is knit with 100% wool. She crocheted the buttons, as well.

Although it was knit by my great-grandmother sometime in the 1980s, it fits me well and would be something I could see myself wearing with a pair of brown slacks. Because it is wool, it would be a wonderful layer to fend off the cold in the autumn and winter.

This second sweater also was knit in wool. It is knit in a basket weave or moss stitch pattern with a garter stitch belt. The hem, sleeves, and collar are bordered with scalloped crochet. 

Here is the detail of the third sweater, a men's medium, with a shawl collar, knit for her husband. 

In the picture above (with the man's sweater), it a linen placemat by my great-grandmother's aunt and a crocheted doily that my great-grandmother made. The linen placemat was made from linen that my great-great-aunt grew, processed, and wove. My great-grandmother then crocheted the edging on the placemat. 

I was amazed by the knitting and fiber history that I learned from my grandmother this trip. Do you have any family knitting or crafting stories to share? Please leave a comment!

Happy Knitting!

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