We have a case of Grannies here at Chez Blueday. My mum is not a cook, neither is housekeeping her thing. What she is deliciously good at though, is sitting and knitting while Rosy and Posy chat endlessly. Posy spent about an hour the other day, crouched over a giant sheet of paper on the floor, drawing industriously and discussing every pencil stroke exhaustively with Grandma. And Grandma sat and knitted and said 'Oh my', and 'Really?' and 'I like that blue one especially' without dropping a stitch. They go for little walks to the shops and the playground, and play board games, and Grandpa is (apparently) hilarious always, especially when he shows the little girls how good he is at ballet.
And now we are all knitting. Mum is knitting blanket squares for a Save the Children Fund project, and I picked up some needles, then the girls joined in. The older girls had a Steiner tutor for a couple of years while we were homeschooling, so they are excellent knitters. So here we are, three generations knitting away, and chatting, of course.
I always support the gift of a home made blanket. They are so portable, so personal, so comforting, and they last forever. When I was about six the ladies at my Grandma's church made blankets for our family. We were 'poor missionaries' from the tropics spending three months in South Australia in the depths of Winter, and like church ladies everywhere, these were kind and practical and thoughtful, and found a way to help. I loved my blanket - there it is above in the background of the photo, crocheted in a rainbow of colours, no doubt scraps from somebody's wool stash. It came everywhere with me as we moved houses and countries, a constant cosy presence, and it lives on the arm of the couch in Posy's room now, in perfect condition thirty five years later.
This blanket came in good time too, for my very first blanky had just worn out. My first blanky was also a knitted one, handed down to me by my Grandma, who had knitted it for my Dad when he was a baby. It was a pleasant muted green in blocks of garter and purl, with a wide garter stitch border. In one corner there were whimsical appliqued chickens, cut from scraps of an old cream wool blanket, and there were embroidered wool flowers scattered across the green field. I loved that blanky, which must have been knitted in about 1946. Mum patched it and patched it, and finally it unravelled past redemption. That one must have lasted about thirty years, so that my two childhood blankies have had about sixty five years of use between them. I love things handed down through generations, things that are actually used, not just prized, and I love things that are made from scraps into something beautiful.
And here we are, three generations knitting a blanket for other children somewhere far away. I hope they will stay warm and be comforted, and maybe hand this blanket on to another generation too.