My mother never considered herself a knitter.
If you asked her, she’d say she sewed, quilted, and crocheted. She did many other things, including some knitting.
As Mother’s Day 2011 approaches, I decided to look at the baby set she knit for me. I haven’t looked at it in several years. I recalled vaguely the knitting patterns included lace, although I wasn’t quite sure about it. And I’m not sure I ever really studied it.
Well, was I surprised!
It’s a diagonal lace knitting pattern. The cap is knit in one piece, with two seams going partway up the back. The sweater was knit in five total pieces—two fronts, two sleeves and the back.
And each seam lines up perfectly. The diagonals match precisely.
Even more amazing is the yarn and needles she used. The stitches are smaller than what I make when knitting socks with size 1 needles!
There’s a cap, cardigan sweater, booties and even mittens. The mittens are in block stitch with a garter stitch edging. They may have been knit at a different time than the rest, or maybe just from a different pattern.
The rest of the pieces are a combination of the diagonal lace, and seed stitch knitting patterns. Seed stitch takes concentration, because the stitches change every row. At least I think it takes more concentration than some other knitting patterns like stockinette stitch.
What did I learn from looking at this set and its knitting patterns?
- Well, if one of my first knitting projects was a lace baby set in this fine a stitch I wouldn’t consider myself a knitter either! I probably would have run from knitting. This is one of those knitting patterns that look easy but are challenging.
- I can see the love she put into every stitch.
- If there ever was a doubt as to where her children got their tendencies towards perfection, it’s now obvious. And whether she called herself a knitter or not, she was an accomplished knitter.
I remember her showing me how to knit a pair of mittens as a child. And when the wool sweater kit I received as a gift was too itchy for me, she finished it. She not only finished it; without a pattern she cut and sewed a lining so I could wear it.
That’s a mother’s love. While her final days were not all roses and sunshine, I choose to cherish the love, the memories from long ago, and their evidence in her crafts. I learned from caregiving and am now sharing what I learned with other caregivers.
I was privileged to be her primary caregiver at the end of her life here on earth. Out of that experience, the experiences of other caregivers, and my experiences in caring for others “A HEART PLAN” was formed.
The white square and heart are knit. The letters are cabled yarn and embroidered. It’s a way to help caregivers showing them how to to make caregiving more positive and to help themselves while caregiving. Caregivers are often voiceless, and care for everyone else but themselves.
Maybe you’re a mother or a father or a son or a daughter. When you give of yourself and your time you’re also a caregiver. Maybe you help someone with shopping or cooking or cleaning. You may not fit the conventional mode of caregiver, still you need to care for yourself.
A is for Accepting and claiming your caregiving.
H is for Healthy Humor Helps!
E is for Eliminating negativity.
A is for Avoiding isolation.
R is for Reducing your stress reaction.
T is for Thankfulness and thanksgiving.
P is for finding your Purpose.
L is for Love and forgiveness.
A is for Advocating.
N is for Nurturing yourself.
I’ll have more information in future posts. And I’ve just opened a Zazzle Shop with the “A HEART PLAN” logo.
Or go to: http://theknittingyarn.com/shop.
Happy Mother’s Day!
To your healthy caregiving,
Ina Gilmore M.D. (ret.)
The information on this website is for educational purposes only. It does not replace information or recommendations from your own physician or other health care provider. This site does not advocate medical or other health-related self-care, and encourages you to obtain advice from your own personal physician or other health care provider.
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What Can You Learn From Knitting Patterns In Vintage Baby Clothes?