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Sunday, October 4, 2009

In Memory of an Avid Knitter

Two weeks ago we had a funeral for my mother-in-law... Besides remembering her as a loving mother to my husband and a grandmother to my children, I will always remember her as a person with whom I had many interests in common and from whom I learned many tips and tricks in cooking and knitting.

Her name was Olya and she had many talents. Throughout her life Olya very successfully moved from one craft to another. She made hats, did some lace work, loved cooking and was great at it. Later in life she learned how to knit and it became her obsession. Olya could knit many hours in a row perfecting every stitch, every seam. Her knitted project had a very even gauge and looked like she bought it in some boutique. Many times she inspired me with her projects and contagious love for new techniques and color combinations. It was great to have her around. Every knitter knows how important it is to be able to show your finished project to a person who understands all that goes into making of it. Olya always encouraged me to try new things.

Unfortunately, Olya did not take pictures of her projects, so we have just a few photos with her work. Most of them are not showing the garments well. This sweater she made for my husband when he was 14 or 15 years old.This is the only picture that was done as a showcase of the sweater. We can conclude that she was very proud of her work on this garment. My son had his own sweater and my daughter had hers. All three sweaters are knit from bottom up in brioche stitch. Sleeves are raglan style. You can see the nice work on raglan lines. She first knit color stripes and later (still on separate pieces) she used a duplicate stitch to imitate the fair isle work. Very clever technique. Olya gave us these three garments and I still have them, so I could take pictures myself. This little cardigan is knit in kimono style from top down as one piece and ,when it was finished, it was cut in front (it is called sticking) and the button and the buttonhole bands were attached later. The skirt is knit in the round in the stitch pattern that makes knitted fabric to form pleats. I wish you could see more of her work. I know you would admire them all.

As for me, I will miss her. I did inherit all of her knitting books and some tools, so her legacy as a knitter is alive with me.


Kara Gott Warner said...

Yes, your mother-in-law's memory will be kept alive through your knitting. How wonderful!

pamela said...

What a lovely tribute. How fortunate we are to have had women like your mother-in-law and my great grandmother in our lives.