Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Legacy in Yarn

Mama taught me to crochet when I was in elementary school. I made doll clothes and doll blankets and then when I was sixteen I crocheted my first big project - a bed spread for my double bed. I still have it, although it's really huge and the colors are a little optimistic and sugary (even for me). Mama even crocheted bathing suits for my dolls.
Mama learning to sew is one of my earliest memories. Daddy read the instructions and then helped Mama figure out what to do at our dining room table. Neither of them knew how to sew, but they didn't see a problem with learning as adults. Fifteen or so years later, I canceled the wedding dress I'd just ordered when I drew what I really wanted on a paper bag at work and Mama said she thought we could make it. And we did - exactly what I wanted.
My brothers even sewed sleeping bags for their G.I. Joe's.
Mama ran "The Yarn Barn" from our house. She and her partner would buy yarn in 16 pound hanks down in Dalton, Ga and then sell it in the room Daddy built next to our garage. Daddy invented a machine to wind 4 oz balls of yarn from the 16 lb. hanks. (We got paid to sit and wind the balls.) The 16 lb. hanks would fit around a large, outside sized garbage can turned upside down. The business flourished, until the supply of yarn dried up.
Daddy macrame'd an elaborate hanging bird feeder one time. He rigged it to hang above his easy chair so he could sit there, macrame and watch TV.
And we didn't think any of this was unusual.
Watching my parents taught me if you want to do something - figure it out and do it.
Now that's a legacy.


Chris and Chuck Keith said...

My grandma taught me to crochet. Me and my other 3 sisters, but I'm the only one who took to it. I wish I'd been around when my grandma owned a yarn shop, but that was before my time. Love the ingenuity of your dad. Reminds me of my another grandparent who was constantly creating process improvement items. Ah Ha! It just dawned on me, that is where Maddi gets her drive to be an industrial engineer.

Kay Dew Shostak said...

Isn't it so amazing to see those legacies coming around again? Thanks, Chris.