Someone commented to me recently about how we learn the crafts our aunts and mothers teach us. I learned from my grandmother, may she rest in peace.
My father’s mother was a little old Bedouin woman with blue tattoos tracing the curves where her eyebrows should have been and dotting her chin and forehead. We called her Yedaida, an affectionate form of “grandmother” in Arabic.
My grandmother couldn’t read or write, but our house was filled with granny square cushions that she’d made, like this one:
She never taught me how to crochet. She did, however, teach me how to latch hook.
I have a vivid memory of hooking some sort of koala or panda and asking her to turn it into a pillow. I don’t think she got around to it, and I have no idea what happened to the koala (or panda).
That may seem like the farthest thing from cross-stitching, but I guess the idea of taking thread (or yarn) and fabric (or canvas) and turning it into an image or a pattern stuck with me.
I think she’d be proud that I’ve learned how to knit. And I think, if she were still alive, she would finally teach me how to crochet granny square pillows.
Here’s to grandmothers, and to crafty traditions!