Needlecraft and Family


Some of Grandma’s tools (and a bit of my tatting.)

I don’t remember much about my grandmother. My mother’s mother died when I was very young. Nevertheless, I’ve always felt a connection to her. She may have taught me first stitches, but I’m not really sure. I am sure that I got my love of needlecraft from her. I inherited (by way of my mother) hooks, needles, yarn, books, even a tatting shuttle from her and our house had many examples of her work.

And her work was excellent. Grandma didn’t just crochet lace doilies, no, Grandma crocheted entire lace tablecloths. She even tatted the lace on her wedding trousseau,


Yes, tablecloths.

although no examples of it survive.

Throughout my childhood, I was fascinated by her tools and determined to learn how to use them. I think I learned and forgot how to knit and crochet a dozen times. My mother did her best to explain it all to me, but it wasn’t her passion. (That’s sewing and she excels at it.)

Eventually, I discovered the library’s needlecraft section and found books on crochet, knitting and tatting and, finally, the lessons stuck. I’ve taken breaks from needlecraft over the years, but I always come back to it and it always feels like coming home.

I still use Grandma’s tools on a regular basis. Recently, I even acquired her pedal powered sewing machine, though I haven’t dared to try it out. I regret not knowing my grandmother better, but in a way she’s still with me, connecting me to my

Sewing Machine

Pedal Power!

past and grounding me in the present.

Over to you:

How did you come to needlework? Is it a tradition in you family or did you come to it on your own? I’d love to hear so leave a reply in the comments.


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  1. This post is very moving. And it’s strange you should post about this now, I have been toying with the idea of learning how to tat for some weeks now. Is it hard?

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