This post isn’t really about making art. Well, maybe. If all creative endeavors are art, which is stretching it a bit, I think. The subject of what is art will be another blog. I have Mimi on the blog-brain today.
My grandmother, Mimi, taught me to crochet when I was a little girl. She started me with a potholder before I could cook, and a big needle, and thick yarn. Because she did it, I wanted to do it.
Before long, she also taught me to stitch and tat (make lace for you non-needleworkers.) she told me that all of the women in our family were good stitchers. My mother couldn’t do any of this, and so the “skips a generation” theory came to excuse my mom from the lineage.
In high school I elaborately embroidered a jeans skirt I made from my brother’s old jeans. My mom thought this was a waste, such beautiful embroidery on hole-ridden jeans. I made a small blanket of every color in the rainbow, random stripes that became my favorite cats blanket when he was dying. It went with him, wrapped him up and kept his dead body warm. My mother admonished me for giving it to him. He was, after all, my best friend and practically kept me alive when I was grieving not being able to have babies. What would I use it for? No baby to wrap in it!
I picked up my crochet hook again when I found I could not have children. A deep depression descended upon me, and Mimi came to the rescue tying me to hundreds of women who have sat and stitched their way into sanity. 27×18 rows = 486, a row around = 570, and with nine squares (I gradually made them 12 squares) = 5,130 stitches. With every stitch I prayed for the lifting of the depression. I made a blanket for every member of our family, and then kept going, selling them for several years after my depression had left me.
By the way, I started painting nine months after I miscarried, another story.
I make money off Mimi’s needlework lessons. When I am stitching a zillion small stitches in a tapestry I think of her, and wonder what she would make of all this. I think she would love the scarves I make, knitted nightly because I can’t keep my hands quiet unless they hurt!
I have no children to hand down the needlework tradition to, and I wonder, who will get her needles when I am gone? Who will love this tradition as I have, find it may even save their life, want to have Hoyt-Smith-Powell needles and the stories that go with them?
My images in this series can be reposted if there is a link back to zenkatwrites.
All Images ©D.Katie Powell.