When I was about eight years old, my grandmother cast on a set of stitches and taught me to purl. It did not go well. After a few tries, I gave up.
I also asked Grandma to knit me an afghan. Knowing what I know now, I was asking her to take on a HUGE job. Still, she did it, and I still have that afghan today.
Fast forward to October of 2010. I bought a kit and some yarn and learned to knit. Little did I know, I was rekindling a family tradition.
My two knitting heroes are my grandmother, Miriam Gottlieb, and her mother, Jenny Keller. These were wonderful gentle women who loved creating beautiful things. I miss my grandmother greatly, and I never got to know my great-grandmother.
Let’s start with Great-Grandma Keller. From what my aunts tell me, this woman was a rockstar knitter. She would knit argyle socks with the thinnest of yarns. I also understand she was a gentle and loving woman who cared for her family.
Her legacy in me? I love knitting socks, and I hope to do argyles in her honor one day. I wish I would’ve been able to meet her, talk to her about knitting and to thank her for instilling her values in the rest of my family.
Grandma Gottlieb was a woman of many talents, besides knitting, but that’s what I’m going to focus on. She was an afghan knitting queen. And I’m not talking just garter stitch here, people. I’m talking lace, tassels, chevrons, the works. Every bed and sofa in her house had an afghan. She would also knit sweaters.
I remember going through supplies when I was little and being fascinated by her brightly colored and eye-catching yarn. Grandma was also an acrylic goddess. That’s what all her afghans were knitted out of.
She also used wool a lot, especially for sweaters. I inherited one of her wool sweaters from one of my aunts. It was a gray cabled sweater. I loved wearing it. And I love wool today.
I miss my grandmother so much. She passed away from cancer in 1996. She is one of the reasons why I knit chemotherapy hats for cancer patients.
Her legacy in me? Where do I begin?! Besides also raising a wonderful family, she was one of the most stable and loving people I’ve ever had in my life. And I knit her memory.
My aunts often tell me that both of these women would have been proud of me, as they both are. That makes me feel wonderful and happy that I’m rekindling a family tradition.
I’m going to stop before I cry now.