Who Should You Thank?

Here I am with my mother, outside a rather wonderful Derbyshire pub, The Devonshire Arms at Pilsley. Great for lunch – just get there early!

In recent years, my mother has discovered the delights of the Women’s Institute. She told me that with the WI she’d made a teapot cosy. She suggested it was a tad, ahem, exuberant. But nothing prepared me for the joyful woollie eccentricity that awaited me!

I mean, there are tea pot cosies – and there are tea pot cosies! I love all the detail that’s gone into this. (It reminds me of the Knitted Olympics.)

The judges at our local fair were more circumspect…

The overall effect is less than the sum of its parts…

How very dare you! I think this is why I feel slightly uncomfortable around creative arts being turned into a competition. Is there any right or wrong? Not that my mother gives a jot. She’s very proud of her tea cosy!

But all of this led me to think about how much I owe my mother. She taught me to knit. (She also taught me to read, a gift with a lifetime’s positive legacy.) She allowed me to use her sewing machine when I was a child. Tapestry, embroidery, papier mache, macrame, Easter bonnets – we did it all. It’s been a source of so much pleasure and continues to be. We spent a lot this weekend comparing knitting patterns!

I really enjoyed hearing about Handmade By Carolyn’s mother on her blog recently. Do you have a parent, a family member or friend, a mentor, teacher maybe – someone you should thank for your creativity today? What did they teach you? Tell me about them, then go on. Give them a call. Let them know you love them.

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68 Responses to Who Should You Thank?

  1. Sarah says:

    I should thank my grandmother, Nana. She taught me to sew when I was 7, and then never stopped teaching me things. She taught me that you don’t have to take classes to draft patterns or change them from a block: that you can divert from the directions, and that you can do it all quickly.
    I’ll be altering a dress she made in the fifties to wear this fall in the coming week or so… may have to blog about it in a tribute sort of format. I know I’ll be calling her today to say thank you- what a great reminder!

  2. Both ,my great nan (dad side) and my grandma Rosa mom) side where immensely talented sewist, knitters.. unfortunately i didn’t learn from them.. it took me 30 years actually to take control of my creative desires and learn by myself. I wish I had learn from them. My mom is creative, more fashionista … she is to impatient to make things.. she normally have an idea and get someone else to make.. for her, its the result rather then the journey. Im slowing getting her involved… You can say that I am hopefully going to inspire next generations. BTW, I LOVE your mom tea cosy…

  3. Dibs says:

    My mom definitely. She is very creative, and made sure everyone on her house went to some sewing class. Unfortunately I was raised by my dad so I missed out on the sewing. But I sew today because she made me know that sewing is something you can always use to make yourself happy.

  4. KC says:

    I am in love with your mother!

  5. I thank my mum for teaching me the basics of good sewing, and my Gran, for teaching my mum!

  6. Szarka says:

    My mother, who continues to take creative chances, and “bugger” to what other people think. (Some of her FO’s are not to my taste, but it makes her happy – and that’s the point, really!)

    Competitions of the arts are illogical, to my mind. If the purpose of art is to 1)express the thoughts of the artist and 2)prompt new thoughts in the viewer, then perhaps we should all pity that poor judge who could only think about yarns “mismatching”. There’s so much more to internal life!

    (Incidentally, as a Yank who admires the idea of an English Country Garden…my “new thought” is reassurance that my own chickens and clothesline and riotous zinnias are not clutter, as comparisons with magazine layouts would suggest, but Authentic.)

  7. Shari says:

    That is the most wonderful tea cosy. I love the goose! Creativity is an expression of oneself, so for someone else to judge the final product can be difficult. I’m so glad your mum doesn’t give a jot. Clearly her tea cosy gives her joy and those of us who appreciate its joyfulness! My mother crocheted and sewed and I have told her how much I appreciate that she taught me to sew because it is both useful and makes me feel good. My grandmother was a crafter and it was something she and I shared that her other grandchildren didn’t have an interest it. I always knew she truly appreciated a handmade gift.

  8. Jen (NY) says:

    The tea cozy is like majolica in yarn–wonderful! I suspect that the judge just didn’t quite get it.
    As for me, my grandmother got me started on making my first pair of pants. Kind of unusual choice for a first sewing project, but I was probably going through an anti-skirt phase. I chose the green poly glen plaid fabric myself (an 8 year old’s taste, I guess!).

  9. rosyragpatch says:

    I would thank my grandmother for all her encouragement.
    I love the tea cosy – I can’t knit so I won’t be copying – but if I could I would…

  10. pat says:

    My grandma. She wasn’t very affectionate, but I knew she loved me. She taught me to iron, bake, enjoy a good book and trust in the Lord. I only wish she was still here. She was a talented seamstress, but I learned to sew after she died. Your mom’s tea cozy is awesome and good for her that she doesn’t care what other people think. The world needs more women with your mom’s attitude. You have her spirit of adventure. This is a great post.

  11. Lynne says:

    Your Mum’s tea cosy is absolutely fantastic! I love the wee birds. I’m glad she doesn’t give a hoot about the judge’s comments, I shall be offended on her behalf! That judge hasn’t got a clue…

    I have to thank my Granny (my Dad’s Mum) for introducing me to sewing and knitting. Her name was Dora, and she was a Stitcher in one of the Shirt Factories in Belfast (there were many, and they were a big employer of women in Northern Ireland; sadly, I don’t think there are any left now). Anyway, my Granny could have made absolutely anything, and when I was very young, she would let me play with the decorative stitches on her sewing machine, and I recall her teaching me to do buttonholes.

  12. Charlotte says:

    I love your mum’s cosy; the birds are especially darling.

    Neither my mother nor my grandmother actually sewed well. They both tried to mixed results. I suppose I’d thank my mum for buying my first sewing machine. She had enough faith in me to shell out for tons of pretty fabric and nifty notions before I’d even sewn a stitch.

  13. Sam says:

    You mum’s tea cosy is wonderful, how very dare the judges be less than complimentary about it. I agree with your doubts about the arts/crafts being turned into a competition. My dad is very vehement in his views that anything where the result is based on peoples opinions should not be a competitive activity.

    I have various people to thank for my love of and skills in stitching, mostly my grandma, but also my granny, great auntie and mum to greater and lesser degrees over the years.

  14. Marie says:

    Aaaw, your mum and her tea cosy are both adorable! Beautiful post Karen!xx

  15. I hope your mum reads your blog and sees how much everyone loves her tea cosy!

    My grandma taught me to sew and knit, and last month I taught my two nieces (5 and 8) to sew for the first time! Now it’s our turn to pass it on… πŸ™‚

    • Mary Ball says:

      Yes I do follow Karen’s blogs and thank everyone for their kind comments.
      Everyone ….. keep knitting, sewing, crocheting, and blogging. Love to you all x
      (Karen’s Mum)

  16. MrsC says:

    What a woman! I think our Mums would get on like a house on fire. Mum’s 3D entry to the last quilt exhibition was a teacosy made to look like a cauliflower, complete with slug! She did teach me lots of things, and encouraged me to try them, and didn’t get too worked up over mistakes. All very important attributes. We are both very blessed to have such awesome Mums!. Mine is known on my blog, and in real life by most of my sewing buddies, as The Embroidenator.
    I have already written a few posts about her over on mine, http://amamus-amatis-amant.blogspot.co.nz/search/label/The%20Embroidenator
    and when I see her tonight at our sewing group, I will give her and extra hug and thankyou too πŸ™‚

  17. I think your mother’s tea pot cozy is absolutely gorgeous! To heck with those judges! Beautiful and so full of life! Both of my grandmothers quilted. I learned to sew by hand when a very little girl. My five year old granddaughter is starting to get interested in sewing and asking questions about knitting. I may have to teach her soon. πŸ™‚

  18. Nancy anson says:

    I’d thank my sister, a fine seamstress, cook, and all round wonderful person. She passed away a couple of years ago, and i miss her every day. I was in college when “all things crafty” hit…summer of 1969. She took me to the fabric place and we chose fabric and pattern, etc. She helped me through all the pattern instructions. I think she must have put the zipper in, but i did the rest. I remember the hem being crooked, but i wore it to death. I still have the pattern! I’ve never stopped sewing, enjoying every bit. AND, the tea cozy is fabulous. I can’t think of anything sweeter than drinking tea while contemplating each little treasure. The judge was a big ole poopy head!

  19. huggiebaby says:

    I love that tea cosy!!! Seems like it a knitty-mum weekend all round

  20. Sue says:

    I love your mum’s tea cosy. My mum and grans sewed and cooked and I love doing it too. My biggest encouragment for all I make comes from my daughter who is also following in all our footsteps.

  21. Diane says:

    Love the exuberance of the tea cosy πŸ™‚ I’d like to thank my Nan’s next door neighbour who gave me a box full of fabric offcuts and trimmings which I treasured and poured over for years. She also let me have a go on her treadle machine and made me a little dolls cot out of a tiny fruit basket complete with crocheted blankets and beautifully stitched quilt. I must have been about 7 years old and, now in my sixties, I still have that little cot.

  22. Karen in VA says:

    That tea cozy is fabulous!!!! My mom taught me to sew, one grandmother taught me to knit, the other to crochet. There were always craft supplies of some sort around our house growing up. Trying to pass it onto one of my nieces who wanted to learn to crochet and knit…..Hopefully she will be interested in learning how to sew when she gets a bit older…will gladly teach her!!!

  23. I adore the Tea cosy! WI judges are v v strict though, one passed caustic remarks about my alpaca waistcoat’s neckline when I entered it in a competition. My aunt taught me to knit, I think my mother taught me to use a sewing machine, but it was so long ago I can’t remember; it may have been my grandmother who also made me lovely little dresses. Sadly I haven’t passed the skills to my children, although my son can sew on buttons. Maybe I will have a grandchild to teach in the next few years.

  24. oonaballoona says:

    what?! that tea cosy is made of FUN. i’m glad your mom can scoff at the judges. this is a woman who taught her daughter to make dino skirts, whether she realized it or not…

    • Mary Ball says:

      I don’t really scoff! I think they have a tremendously difficult job, but perhaps I do take competition lightly. You are right, I did it just for fun. Good luck with your craft work . From Karen’s Mum (of whom I am inordinately proud) x

  25. I love that tea cosy. It’s so generous. And while not pouring water on anybody’s comments, I point out that it was entered in a competition and therefore if criticism flows, that’s probably to be expected. Such things needn’t daunt anyone’s enthusiasm for their craft (whatever it might be) or the results.

    My mother and her sisters taught me to knit and sew, in the sense that Mum taught me but if any other aunt was around to help with a problem, you knew you were safe asking for assistance. Sewing was more embroidery as I remember it until late primary school when we undertook sewing lessons as part of the curriculum; but I’d grown up having many of my clothes made for my by the aunt who had no children of her own and sewed for everyone else’s. My mother could sew (in the sense of dressmaker sewing) but it wasn’t her forte. Ask her to cook or bake anything or organise a fundraising event and you’d have a runaway success on your hands before you knew what was happening. Each of us has different strengths, I suppose.

    All my mentors are long gone but still I find myself thanking them daily for the life skills they’ve provided me or the fabric scraps I’m still using to make bits and pieces. πŸ™‚

    • Mary Ball says:

      You are so right and everyone must remember that that only judge you have to convince is yourself. Nice to hear from you where the weather is warmer. (From Karen’s Mum)

      • Quite so, Karen’s Mum! As a former professional muso, I always view very cautiously indeed the whole notion of assessing creativity. It’s tricky and, well, I suppose if we make the choice to enter competitions, we take the good with the bad in that as well as in life. (But I am most enamoured of that tea cosy, it’s a wonder indeed.) Yes, it’s been a lovely 28 degrees here today. Beautiful.

  26. kaitui_kiwi says:

    I guess crafting is like art when it comes to competition, it is just too subjective and sometimes it is hard to put into words why you simply like or dislike something. But not that tea cosy, that judge comment is just ridiculous! I think it is AMAZING, so much imagination, discovering all the details on it is part of the fun, clearly they were after something much more boring, rule-following and traditional.

    My Mum taught me to use her sewing machine as soon as I showed any interest, even though I was quite young. Her amazing scrap bag of endless inspiration and constant encouragement is all thanks to her xx

    • Mary Ball says:

      Does that title mean you live in the part of the world we love, NZ? My cousin lives in Christchurch and we were there Feb 2010 when you had the earthquake! Good Luck to all NZ friends. (From Karen’s Mum)

      • kaitui_kiwi says:

        Yes that’s right πŸ™‚ I am in Wellington – Oh gosh, what a shock that must have been for you to be there for the shake, I am glad you are ok and I hope your cousin is doing ok too, it must be so hard to be down there. All of NZ (and most of Australia from what I’ve read) sends love and strength down there.

  27. Nettie says:

    How vey dare they indeed! It’s an adorable tea cosy.

    My grandmothr taught me to knit when I was a child, but I really only rediscovered knitting a few years ago. So she planted the seeds of my current obsession!

    But my love, skills and knowledge of sewing come from my mum. She taught me to draft simple patterns, We shopped together for fabric. For years I sewed on her faithful old Bernina. She supervised my school embroidery projects – if truth be told, she finished many a project for me late at night. And even though I have grey hair now myself, I miss my mum every day.

  28. Graca says:

    What a wonderful post! I adore your Mom’s tea cozy, it is fantastic. And those judges didn’t know what they were talking about. Just my humble opinion. My Mom was my greatest influence and inspiration when it comes to sewing and even cooking. I wish I inherited 1/2 of her talent. But I was also blessed to have my childhood friend’s Mom pass along her creative wisdom and a wonderful high school Home Economics teacher to teach me tricks of the trade.

  29. Nikki says:

    The tea cozy is amazing! I could never enter competitions like this as for me they would take the fun out of the creating. The creative streak runs through my family (maternal side), My Nan did cake decorating and made spectacular cakes, she also knitted. My Aunt paints china and my mum used to make all our clothes when we were young (she worked in a factory making clothes for Ladybird when she left school), she also knits and bakes. I was never taught by any of them, but knowing they did these things and seeing the results stays with you, until one day you decide to have a go yourself!! My daughter is also creative, but at 14 she has zero interest in making clothes at the moment. I was taught to knit (now forgotten) and do basic embroidery at Primary school though, not something my kids ever did at school!

  30. Awesome tea cosy!! It is the very reason to have a teapot!!!
    I’m so lucky, I have my mum to thank big time who made everything and so I grew up in a culture of craft and homemaking. My grandma and her sisters ( my mum’s mum and her aunts) inspired her as they used to be seen making their dresses for the weekend dance in the living room during the week before ( much like my kind of “have event, must have outfit, must be made right up to the line” kind of sewing by the seat of your pants) . But my mum’s skills are infinite even now that I am a grown up I am always awed by how much she knows and can do….

  31. KristenMakes says:

    How lovely! You’re mum seems really dear and special! I agree about the judging competition. Having a winner is 1 thing, but marking and and putting every item to a scale is a bit icky. Your mum’s tea cosy is spectacular! I must thank my mum too (and I often do!) but I also must thank all the knitters that take time to make tutorials and videos to post online, sharing their unique knowledge – that’s how I learned!

  32. Pella says:

    A tea cosy worth putting round the teapot, great fun! In answer to your question, mother and grandmother first, and then the teacher who taught me to pattern draft.

  33. Robin says:

    Love the tea cosy, reminds me of ‘sarahs garden’ from wedgewood. My mother and her mother ( on a hand crank singer)have always sewn clothes, done gorgeous embroidery and now my mum and her sisters are fanatical quilters. I have sewn since I was 8 (now 48) my mum very patiently unpicked my mistakes and guided me on the right path and my grandmother always admired everything I made. So I thank them. R.

  34. Roobeedoo says:

    Snotty judges! Who do they think they are?!
    I have no patience for “judging” craft in this way.

    • LinB says:

      Have you ever seen any of the episodes of The Andy Griffith Show that feature contests at the fair, for cookery and handcrafts and flower arrangement? (I don’t know how available this 1960s sitcom is in the UK.) The kindest is the one in which it is revealed that the snippy, arrogant, mean old neighbor woman, Clara, has almost nothing in her life that affirms her self esteem except the annual contest — which she has won for many years in a row — and Aunt Bea throws the contest so that her neighbor can get the blue ribbon, one more time. An aura of pomposity reigns among the judges, but the laughter at all these villagers is tempered with a fondness and affection at their all-too-human foibles. I hope that Karen’s mother can retain her self-respect, and maintain a well-earned sense of pride at her accomplishment. That is one amazingly tea cozy.

  35. That is by far the best tea pot cosy I have ever seen. Lady got skills.

  36. Anne-Marie says:

    I love that tea cosy! Your story reminds me of a garden I once saw, that had displays scattered through the garden. The owner had used small dolls, stone and plastic animals, birds, toadstools, she had included sayings etc. There were lots of colours, different flowers, not at all a magazine-worthy garden, in my opinion. At first I thought it was kitsch, and not at all a good ‘open garden’ to show to gardeners – but I realised as I left through the decorated gate that I felt so much happier than 20 minutes before. That was the moment I let go of all my ideas of how things ‘ought to be’ and became far less judgemental. I can just imagine the joy your mum and you must feel each time you use that tea cosy.

  37. Perhaps your mum might like to enter her awesome tea cosy in this festival here:
    There is a section for tea cosies too, and I’m sure they would love to have it and appreciate it properly πŸ™‚

    My mum taught me to sew, my Granny to knit. Somehow I missed out on learning to crochet so a lovely old lady from some place where they didn’t speak English as she grew up,whose daughter ran a craft store taught me to crochet. Another friend taught me to weave and spin. Lucky me!

    I’m teaching my daughter all the fibre arts I can. She loves them as much as I do! Lucky me!

  38. Erika says:

    Adorable tea cozy! I’d love to have one like that for special occasions =)
    My mother is my greatest source of inspiration for creating. She taught me to sew, bake, dance, and all sorts of fun little projects (one of the many benefits of her being a craft-interested kindergarten teacher). There has been several attempts over the years to teach me knitting (at my request), but I’ve never quite fallen for it and so has never made it past the very basics.
    I should def give her a ring today. Good idea! =)

  39. tinygoldenpins says:

    My mother and her mother before her. My grandmother was raised on a farm and always did for herself. My mother was brilliant in all things sewing and knitting and furniture rehab. She made her best friends’ wedding dress (with train and all) when she was 18 years old! She never taught me to sew but I always picked up the needle and thread and did things, i.e., embroidered fairy tales on my jeans, did needlepoint, taught myself knitting. When it became time for me to start sewing, I just did it. Having that in common kept us close. I lost her this past July but that bond will never go away.

  40. Trisha says:

    Love this post! And love your mom’s exuberance! I think I may have to copy your idea and write a tribute post as well.

  41. Ugh, I can’t stand craft competitions like that. What gives them the right to judge someone else’s crafting? Your mum’s tea cosy is clearly AWESOME. My mum is my crafting influence. She taught me to knit and crochet. She would have taught me to sew if I hadn’t been afraid of her sewing machine! She used to make all my clothes when I was younger, plus she decorated all the houses we lived in and made curtains too.

  42. Kathryn says:

    What a great post and how weirdly timed as I’ve just written a post about my mum and why I’m thankful to her for inspiring me to be creative. I’ve really enjoyed reading through all the comments on this post too.

    Your mum’s tea cosy is wonderful – I particularly love the birds!

  43. LinB says:

    Just look at the intricacy and detail of even the tiniest objets on this delightful domestic creation! She’s even embroidered multi-faceted eyballs on the honeybees, for gosh sakes. How lucky you are to be able to share your hobbies/avocation with your dear mother. My own parents’ mothers died young, years before I was born. Mama had learned to sew at her mother’s knee, but she and I puzzled out how to do basic needlework (knit, crochet, embroider, tat) by reading Coats & Clark’s instructional manual — still in print, I do believe. We’ve found evidence that several women in her ancestry had supported their families by dressmaking for others. My father’s mother was much admired in the neighborhood for the quality of her dressmaking, knitting and quilting. (Most of what she made for her family was burned to ashes in a house fire in the 1930s. She saved all the babies, but none of the household goods. Which was the better thing to have done.) What an interesting topic! It’s fascinating to read how we all came to a craft that we enjoy so much.

  44. Linda says:

    Pffft!!! to that judge. It’s a wonderful teacosy. I used to live in a village in the UK and you entered anything in the annual ‘fayre’ at your peril. The judges , ahem, have their favourites even though they’re not supposed to know who made what. ;-))

    Irish grandma taught me to knit before I went to school and learnt to read. Primary school teacher taught me to sew, those were the days.

  45. Amy says:

    You know,I’ve been meaning to ring my mum and you’ve just given me the kick up the backside I need. Thanks Karen!

  46. Molly says:

    My mother taught me to sew and make my own clothes, so by 12 I was flying solo. If it hadn’t been for that influence would I be a costumer now? Indirectly, she also taught me to handsew pretty little stitches because she had such a temperamental, horrid sewing machine, I preferred to sew my garments by hand!

    My dad inspired my interest in crafts, wooden toys, steam machinery and automata. He taught me to plan and build dolls houses and encouraged the hobby which led to me making all sorts of things on 1/12th scale – including miniscule tapestries and doll’s clothing. Happy memories.

  47. redsilvia says:

    Well I love your mom! She rocks! Next time tell her to put the pot back in teapot and knit one covered in pot leaves and rasta colors. That’ll set the ladies talking and the comment card would be awesomely awkward πŸ˜‰

  48. Oh so lovely. When I saw the first photo of the tea pot cosy, I thought oh I love your Mum. I can see her personality and parts of herself worked into those yarns, the designing and assembling. How dare they indeed! I’m quite annoyed that someone could write that. Your post is very meaningful and indeed an important reminder. My Dad passed away last night. Make it count people!

  49. Tilly says:

    OMG your mum’s teapot cosy is AMAZING!!! I love it!!! If I saw that in Liberty’s I’d have to buy it – oh the joy that it would bring to any tea table.

    Oh and I don’t think that judge gets out much.

  50. Joanne says:

    I don’t care what the ladies of the WI say, your mum’s pastoral scene teapot cosy is the bees knees. I would like to thank my mum, not because she taught me any crafts (she doesn’t really knit or sew at all) but because she’s gorgeous and lovely and encouraging and always brought me home gold and silver cardboard without complaint when I was making another dinner service for my dollies and didn’t complain when I collected leaves and put them to bed every night in a drawer, or complain when I pretended I was Harriet the spy for months on end. Love my mum. Thanks for the opportunity to say it.

  51. Portia says:

    Can I just say, you look lovely and I could just squeeze your Mum! ! I would like to thank my Dad. Despite the fact that I didn’t see him for many years, and that he is now gone from us; I still remember his fervent pleas to me to pursue my creativity in whichever form it may take. He firmly believed that it was what would make me happy in life. Even though I was such a young child at the time, the memory of his utter belief in me has always stuck with me. Every time I pursue anything creative, I can’t help thinking how much my Dad would approve and it makes me smile.

  52. Reblogged this on Clever Blonde and commented:
    I’m rebloging Karen’s post from http://www.didyoumakethat.wordpress.com. I found it first thing this morning. Yesterday I had the best day with my Dad. I did talk about the qualities he gave me and I let him know I appreciated what he has given me. Then Last night while sleeping he passed away. I can’t write or talk much ATM. It’s still becoming real but Karen’s message is so good I wanted to share it here. Do thank those special people for all the little bits and pieces that make you you.

  53. Mary Ball says:

    My condolences to all those who have lost someone they loved, and yes its always good to let someone know they are loved and appreciated. Many thanks for all those kind remarks. It must be said that its only right that if you enter a competition, you must expect to be judged and judges must have a truly difficult time make decisions. What comes across most of all is how important those family links are to all of us. Good Luck to you all. Love from Karen’s Mum x

  54. grenouille78 says:

    I loved your mom’s teapot cozy! As soon as I scrolled down to see it, a big smile broke out on my face. It’s so whimsical and cheery!

    My mom gave me a start in several crafty avenues: drawing, crocheting, sewing. And those were reinforced by each of my grandmothers! So many handmade things have been passed between generations. I can look around the house and see afghans made by my grandmothers; each of my children have quilts sewn and embroidered by my mom; I’ve crocheted my mom a cardigan and painted pictures for my grandparents and made dolls for my kids. And now my oldest daughter (almost 7) is showing just as much an interest in crafty things as the rest of us. I think I’m going to make her a little sewing kit for her birthday. πŸ™‚

  55. Carolyn says:

    Thank you so much for those kind words Karen πŸ™‚ Your mum’s tea cosy is utterly gorgeous, whimsically divine and a thing fantastic!! I love it, and imagine she had fun making it, it sure put a big smile on my face!

  56. Paola says:

    My mum is a super duper seamstress craftswoman – everything she makes, up to and including my wedding dress, is a work of art. Alas, however, our teaching and learning styles never gelled, and as a young ‘un our lessons always dissolved into fits of tears and yelling. She could never understand how I couldn’t follow what she was doing, and I just couldn’t understand what those flying needles were doing. SIgh. Still, something must have rubbed off because all these years later I sew, knit and crochet. She just rolls her eyes and says “see, it isn’t so hard, is it?”

  57. As a long, long, long time lurker I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog and your amazing creativity and sense of humour that shines through. And it is wonderful to see this fantastic tribute to your equally amazing mum. My mum is absolutely the source of my enthusiasm for creating, she is incredible at everything she puts her hand to and has always encouraged me and supported me and understood me like no one else. I remember when I was about 12 that she taught hand crafts at community school, one night a week for a couple of months, teaching a bunch of adults all sorts of creative things. A different craft each week I think it was. One week was silk ribbon embroidery. She’d never done silk ribbon embroidery. That day she sat down, whipped up an amazing ribbon embroidered scissor holder and another item or two, took them in that night as her demonstration items, and taught them all how to do it. I was already convinced she was superhuman but that was my final piece of evidence. She remains thoroughly my hero. Of course, my grandmother and her extraordinary knitting prowess has its place too! Funnily enough, I was just about to write about them too 

    And, for what it’s worth, that tea cosy is jaw-droppingly incredible and I will be emailing it to Mum this instant!

  58. lisawdegregorio says:

    Love this post! I have my mum to thank big time who made everything and so I grew up in a culture of craft and homemaking.

  59. Wow, was this timely. My mother taught me to sew on her 1970s Bernina. She helped me with many a rush project, laughed and commiserated over mistakes, and inspired me with her own expert sewing. I moved 2600 miles away and miss her terribly. But…she is here right now! And has already exclaimed positivity and encouragement over my few makes since beginning to sew again (on my own Bernina this time). Her support will always carry me through the rough spots.

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