Earlier this year, my Mum (with permission of the family) brought the not insignificant remains of my Grandmother’s knitting yarns up to me. Sorting through it all, we were both struck by some bulky, lightly spun singles which my Mum identified as being Icelandic. Further to this identification, it was remembered that my Grandmother had knitted Icelandic-style sweaters for herself, her husband, both daughters and both sons-in-law. Mum remembers her sweater as being in the bluer shades whereas the males in the family got ones in more neutral tones. These predate my existence. I have no memory of them. Nor did we seem to have any pictures.

Until now.

When clearing my Grandfather’s house, we uncovered various bits and pieces that my Grandmother had knitted. A little pale blue hat went home with my Cousin. We also found a number of shawls, all in pristine condition – although the decision was made to donate these to goodwill so that others may find pleasure in them. However, the best came home with me. Not one, but three Icelandic sweaters. All knit in the yarns that we had uncovered in the remains of the stash.

Two appear to have been knitted with women in mind, the third is definitely man-sized.

This the man-sized one, a lovely cream, green and brown number – which happens to fit the boyfriend quite nicely. There is a mark on one sleeve which may need reknitting with replacement yarn (which I have) but I’ll wash it first and see if the mark comes out.

This is the larger of the two female sweaters – and this fits me (in an oversized fashion) – not perhaps the most flattering but it is cosy and it will be worn.

The last is extremely small but I think with a little steeking (and a button band) it will make a nice little fitted open cardigan.

It is lovely to have something that my Grandmother knitted, but even better to have something that she knitted that can be worn, used and loved.

Korknisse: The Cork Army Assembles

Well, the Korknisse went down extremely well with my Aunt, who reacted surprisingly well at finding five little cork gnomes strewn around her living room. We managed to get one in the fireplace, one on top of the T.V., one sitting by a vase of flowers, one on a side table and best of all, one sitting atop a picture frame. She really liked the idea of having them at the wake.

What made it funnier was that my cousin (the one who had permitted me to take the corks if she could have a couple) spent 15 minutes with a gnome sitting by her head without noticing it, nor noticing the fact that the three of us (me, Mum and Aunt) were trying desparately not to crack up.

So the gnomes will be going, and we’ll encourage people to take them home – they can be used for Christmas decorations – and we hope that when they see them, they’ll provide a smile and a memory of my Grandpa.

Three Generations

Given the current circumstances, November is a month of reflection and memories. Some good, some bad. Both my Father (many years ago) and, last week, my Grandpa passed away this month. November is not a happy month.

But life goes on. My Grandma knitted (and crocheted, I think) and when she died she left her stash and many knitted items at the house she shared with my Grandpa.

This year, whilst renovations were being undertaken at their house so that it was safe for Grandpa to actually continue living in it (and not run the risk of electrocution or gas leakage), the stash was rediscovered.

Many, many bags of oddments and full balls of various Acrylic and Wool blends, including some lovely chunky single ply yarns (which my Mum identified as Iceland Lopi), and big cones of mohair, and everything in between.

But what to do with it?

At the time I was actively knitting up all of my leftover and un-needed yarns into hexipuffs for an epic quilted blanket. It seemed the obvious choice.

The stash was sorted, some colours were set aside for a second version of the same project (one using warm shades), those yarns with sufficient quantities for individual projects were also separated out. The rest, all cool shades, ended up in this first quilt.

Both me and Mum knitted and crocheted hexipuffs… and then I spent 3 days sewing them all together (badly as it turns out, I’ll need to resew it), into this.

Three generations in one blanket: Grandma’s stash, Mum’s crocheting, my knitting. 406 hexipuffs (and counting!). One epic blanket.