Like Grandma

A friend checked in on how I was doing yesterday.


I haven’t knit for at least eight years. In fact I’d cleaned out my knitting yarn stash a few years back (keeping all my needles and supplies, just letting go of the odd yarn) in a Kon-Mari spree.

My stash was a reasonable size because I knit small things….and my friend (above) knew  my knitting history in Japan as he is the happy owner of my knitted Yoda.


I figured out how to knit in the round with multiple double pointed needles and started making my own creatures. For some I took detailed notes that I still have in a notebook, although with years of not knitting it at first reads like the diary of a madwoman.

Nope, no patterns. Those just flowed from my brains through my fingers. I seem to like multiple heads and solitary eyes.

Yet I never thought I’d knit doll clothing. It’s silly to say that now. No one who knows me and my crafts would think that I’d have a weird block about knitting doll clothing..but I did.

Knitted Doll Clothing? That’s a grandma thing. That’s, specifically, a Grandma Leah thing.
Grandma Leah knit doll clothing for my Barbies. The dresses were nice, the sweaters were maddening (Barbies hands would catch in the sleeves and they had the tiniest of buttons) and the underwear ungainly. She also watched bowling, called the dog Stink Ass and could sigh and complain in a passive aggressive manner that will never be forgotten.

My Grandmothers were two very different women.

Grandma Christine was educated and strong-willed, able to extricate herself from tough situations and start out on her own power and brains and find the skills to do whatever it was she needed to do to survive and raise two kids…time and time again in her life. She could also sew anything.

Grandma Leah was never in charge of her own destiny and I have no idea if she could read much beyond patterns and catalogues. Life sort of happened to her and existing family helped her. That’s how she came to live with my father and step-mother when I was young. But…she could knit and crochet. She could sit down, follow a pattern, and make a thing. The thing wasn’t usually artful but it was executed with precision… Her sense of color, texture, and grace was lacking: cheap acrylic yarns, the worst colors, bulky scratchy things. Things she made served a purpose…often that purpose was to be sold at a craft meet so she could make some money.
I have her knitting and crochet supplies now. I even have three oddly written pages someone sent her explaining how to make an infamous pair of slipper booties. EVERY family member got these booties. She was always crocheting these booties. They were warm and ugly.

Someday I will have to make sense the notes I have of hers… if only to make my father and step-mother a pair of booties each…out of the worst acrylic yarn colors I can find. You know, for family traditions to be remembered. I’m not tackling it just yet because it’s crochet, which makes far less sense to me than knitting. I can do it but it’s never become an automatic skill I can easily freestyle in.

How did I get to knitting a sweater?

I made my Monomono doll a pair of pajama bottoms and thought…”She needs a comfy sweater for bad days.”…I guess it is time to knit for a doll.

I found a Blythe sweater pattern on Knitty and picked up a substitute yarn, figuring I had all the supplies at home. I looked at some black yarn and thought “No, your home lounging sweater isn’t your out-and-about sweater. It’s the odd one that is more about comfort than looks. It’s how you hug yourself when no one is there.

Then, once home, I learned I didn’t have a pair of size zero needles.

You don’t understand how shocking that was…. THIS is my needle collection.


I had everything BUT. And I mean EVERYTHING. That baggies is full of 4-5 double sided needles from 1-7. There’s a whole ROLL of hooks under that baggie you can’t even see. I have at LEAST 3 of each size of single sided needles.

I figured out the gauge and managed to knit up the sweater on size 1 needles. A gauge swatch being slightly off on large projects means HUGE difference but for a tiny project? not so much.

I knit for a day, relearning what knitting abbreviations mean, and had a doll sweater.

Your new favorite synthpop band.
Your new favorite Golden Girls remake.


I think she needs a pair of bunny slippers, or skull slippers, or bunny skull slippers next.

2 thoughts on “Like Grandma

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