Found among my treasures this weekend was a small roll of tissue paper containing my great-grandmother’s crocheted doilies. I gingerly unrolled the lot and found them to be in excellent condition–a testament to her and certainly not to my storage methods!
I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time with my Nonnie (as I called her). She was a whip of a woman at just over 4′ tall and Sicilian to her core. She knew all of the wild edible plants on our old goat farm, would routinely cook huge pots of food, hosted a mandatory Sunday dinner at her house that necessitated setting up about three tables through the doorways of two rooms, had a wicked sense of humor, and insisted on gardening until she was well into her 80s. I had the pleasure of learning from her until I was 15–a long time for a girl to have with a great-grandma. And for those years I am very thankful.
At the time, being a teenager and all . . . I didn’t put too much stock in the fact that picking up my Nonnie necessitated carrying around a huge cone of yarn. From the house to the car, to the couch or kitchen table, and back again. She would pull out her hook and go to work. Mostly it was doilies and other small things. But she also made me an entire blanket for my birthday–more on that in another post! The yarn was not fancy or wool or soft by any means. It was utilitarian, just like her.
Now, years later, unfurling these small, delicate, beautiful creations, I am in awe of her skill and I’m beginning to think that somewhere, sometime, she imparted her love of fiber craft to me. The designs look intricate, particularly to my untrained eye; but beyond the spindly stitches, I see all of the love–and practicality–of a dear woman. What a find.