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Knitting indie: Marking a milestone

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Grandma Shawl 1

Those of you who follow Indie Untangled on Instagram may have seen this latest project. Or, rather, projects. My grandma, who’s a loyal reader of this blog (Hi, Grandma!) turned 90 last month. If that’s not deserving of a handknit, than I don’t know what is.

So many people have stories of their grandmother teaching them how to knit, and though I ended up learning from someone else, my grandma has a long history of being crafty and artistic. She was no longer knitting or crocheting when I came along, at least not that I remember, but she was a very talented painter, and I grew up with many of her paintings decorating our home, including one of a big-eyed brunette girl with bangs that hung in my bedroom (and eerily looked like me, even though she painted it in 1969). She also beaded, and there are some gorgeous beaded flower arrangements in her apartment. Though my grandma is the youngest, most vibrant 90-year-old I know, her hands are no longer up to that kind of work, so I’ve taken up the crafting torch. I keep meaning to crack open the big box of beads and embroidery thread that she sent me home with a few years ago. One day…

Grandma Shawl 2

A week or so before her actual birthday, which was just after New Year’s, I was looking at my stash and mulling over shawl patterns, and decided that the Shattered Sun Shawl I was planning to make with some Tanis Fiber Arts fingering in Grapefruit would be it. My grandma’s favorite color is yellow, but I already knit her a yellow Henslowe for her 88th birthday, so I thought this would be different, but just as sunny and cheerful. The pattern was very easy, aside from the fact that I had a similar deja vu Yarn Chicken experience to the one with the Henslowe I made for her, and had to rip out a few rows of the stockinette section before the ruffle to ensure I had enough yarn to finish.

I had thought the shawl was going to be it, but on New Year’s Day, I was at my friend Jess’s for her annual brunch, and as I was grabbing my coat, I saw a gift that her mom had made for her wedding (which was a year ago yesterday!) hanging in her bedroom. It was a Scrabble board with glued-on tiles spelling out words from her and and her husband’s life together. Aside from Jess, my grandma is the biggest Scrabble fan I know, so I knew I had to make a second present. That night, I went on eBay and ordered a vintage game and a second set of tiles, and then later had to get a couple of extra letters from Jess’s mom, who makes these a lot and has quite a collection of boards and tiles from garage sales. Once I had a set-up I was happy with, and all the tiles in place, I glued them on with Elmer’s glue. Then, I picked up a few wooden rulers at the hardware store and glued one to the top and one to the bottom to stabilize the board, and to also provide a way to hang it.

Both gifts were a huge hit at the small family gathering we recently had for her birthday. I wish I’d taken a picture of her wearing her shawl, but this shot of her before blowing out her candles will have to do.

Grandma birthday


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8 Responses

  1. What a sweet idea for a sweet grandmother. I wish I knew where I got my crafting from, it doesn’t seem too prominent in my family. But seriously, I can only imagine how much she loved those gifts!

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