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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Christmas Scarf

Mom knit a lot, time and volume.  A hobby we shared, and I have great memories.  Like the time we stumbled on a fantastic yarn sale and literally bought it all.  “Before the hoarder’s get it,” she explained to another woman in the store.

After we’d lived together awhile I realized that the winter scarves she made to give people were all the same.   It was a tricky little basket weave pattern, all in her head she’d done it so often.  She said it was the scarf she gave new people, and she liked to stay ahead because you never knew.  I think she was expecting my youngest daughter to be married when I asked, meaning she would have a new grandson.  Because I asked, she gave me that one.  I lost it once, and backtracked until I found it around the coat hanger in the doctor’s office.  “Thank you, thank you, thank you!” I exclaimed to the startled faces in the waiting room.  I’ve only lost it that once in over twenty years.
When I asked more to find out who qualified as “new” she said  “Well, I knit one for your father so he’d have a present on Christmas day.” 

Her brother, my Uncle Hank, was doing a favor for a friend at work.  That man, who became my Uncle Frank, needed someone to take in his brother-in-law who was coming into Cleveland on his way to Independence, and a couple of job interviews.  Unfortunately, he was arriving Cleveland late on Christmas Eve, too late for the last trolley.  This was 1941, there was a war on, and no possibility of transport by automobile.  So, Uncle Hank said sure, the fella could stay over at his place and catch the trolley to Independence the day after Christmas.

                                                             Uncle Hank, probably about 1945
When Mom learned, she whipped out her knitting needles.  A stranger at her home with no gift on Christmas Day!  I hope she had a week’s notice…it’s a tricky little pattern.  Well, that’s how my parents met.  Christmas Eve, 1941.  They were married June 20, 1942.
Here we all are at Niagara Falls in 1952, before my sister was born.  All kids are wearing sweaters and Mom made them. 

After Mom left us and we were sorting through stuff I found a new people scarf on the needles.  I worked out the pattern and finished it.  I gave the scarf to my second son-in-law when I acquired him in 2000, along with the story.  He hasn’t lost his.


  1. Knitting-transends generation. My God, Child, Alina just send me a scarf she knit from Hand made knitting Needles from Bill Schmitt and the handspun yarn from Joanne. IT is something I will treasure..HAND Spun Yarn from Joanne....WOW.

  2. Pretty soon it was be the story of the cup on my bus. It h;as become a lesson I live by.all from Joanne.