Posted by: knewbieknitter | July 29, 2008

Crafty Genes. A tribute of sorts

Ok, I never write thoughtful posts, mostly because I can’t get my thoughts in order, but this is something I’ve been thinking about for a while. My apologies for it’s muddleness but I just need to write.

I love my family, I love their crafty ways. I love that I’ve been brought up around crafts of all sorts. I love that inspiration surrounds me and I love that I have people that I aspire to be like.

I regret that I didn’t learn what they had to teach me sooner.

Last year my mum taught me to knit. My mum is a brilliant knitter. She’s knitted christening shawls for both my girls – treasures to be passed down for generation (I hope). I’m sure she thinks that it is fantastic that I now knit, it takes pressure off her hehe. Thank you mum, for it is you that has lead me down this path which is so obviously meant for me.

My mum and my aunties (I’ll tell you about them later) learnt their skills from my Grandmum. My Grandmum is an amazing woman, I really think this post is geared towards her. She’s a seamstress, pattern drafter, knitter, tatter, crocheter, woodworker, potter, toymaker, lacemaker, weaver, spinner and macrami maker, you name it my Grandmum could do it.

It is now that I am older and my love for crafts grow that I really wish I’d taken the time to learn what my grandmother had to teach. If I could have but a percentage of her talent then I would consider myself blessed.

Recently, my grandmother has been clearing out her home. Passing on stuff that she has collected throughout the years. I am fortunate enough to have been gifted all her vintage knitting, crochet, sewing patterns, books, magazines and cutouts. She did keep everything. While going through the piles of paper I’ve found things that I remember her making. A quilt with holly hobby (does anyone remember Holly Hobby??), soft toys. Stuff I wish I had kept (why oh why was I not the hoarder then that I am now hehe).

Of everything that she has passed on to me – the one thing that I will cherish and treasure more than anything is her Spinning Wheel. I have fond memories of the spinning wheel. It lived in her bedroom next to the fireplace. Us kids were never allowed to touch it. I do remember having the odd press of the pedal and feel the exhilaration that it gave me. Maybe it was just the act of doing something forbidden hehe.

Now that I have been enlightened, I’m going to take up any offer to enhance my skills if people wish to teach me. First up, my Aunty Carol, she is just like my Grandmum (though I’m not sure if she’d like to be thought of that way) but I mean it in the best way possible. She is probably the most crafty, fascinating, hippy woman. She is the one that is most like me. Anyway she is an amazing quilter. If I can find pics I’ll show you what I mean. She has agreed to teach me her art of quilting 🙂 I do hope she’s patient. I’ll put progress pics as I learn. And maybe share some of her wisdom (if she doesn’t mind).

Oh and while I’m talking about how fantastically crafty my family is – look at this site – this is my cousin Lara. She has the eye for photography and a way with paper. Her albums are droolworthy and I love nothing more than sitting down and seeing what she’s done to enhance her photos, and tell her story.

I’m hoping to start my girls young on the road to craftiness, I don’t want them to realise what a gift it is when it’s too late. Izzy already is asking for a sewing machine and often sits on my knee while I’m sewing to “help”. Emily is the one who has a thing for yarn, I feel the knitting gene is strong in that one.

Anyway – thanks for reading my ramble. If you got this far you have done well.



  1. Lovely Leah! I have a crafty fandamily too and wish I knew a bit more about them all. I learned last night that my great Grandma was right into shunning commercial producty stuff and had all sorts of herbally type mixtures for day to day stuff that we now think we “need” (like toothpaste and deoderant etc). So cooool.

  2. Lovely post! I have my Holly Hobby doll somewhere…
    My Mum is a knitter. So was my Nan. And like you I hope I can pass the obsession on to my DDs

  3. Hey cous….. I remember those times!

    Yes, our Grandmum is an amazing woman. I wish I had come upon my ‘craftyness’ earlier in life like you Leah! I’m not into the knitting and sewing thing, but absolutely love and admire the work that you do. I find it hard enough to find the time for the odd album page let alone anything else!

    Give those littlies a hug from me ok?


  4. I agree and think it’s wonderful to have the intangible inheritances of common interests and skills. What a lovely post.

  5. What a beautiful tribute to my wonderful mother. Yes, I am really happy that you have taken to knitting with such gusto. Not because it takes the pressure of me, but because you have such a wonderful talent and get so much pleasure out of your beautiful creations. You embrace all crafts with gusto and I am constantly amazed at what you knit and sew, dye etc etc. I am sure I will be seeing some wonderful yarns being spun very soon. Love you.

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