Or so I thought.
My grandmother quilted and crocheted and knit and baked, and she did it all at lightning speed. There were occasional moments of levity over her projects (never in front of her). She got to the point where pins would accidentally get sewn into the layers of quilts. It was like a more pointed version of the "King Cake" (the one where you're lucky if you find the tiny plastic baby in the cake around Mardi Gras). Before you fell asleep, you quickly found the pin, and would work to weave it out of the batting and stitches and cotton fabric.
I couldn't learn the handwork my grandmother did from her. She wasn't a patient teacher and was unable to slow down or explain. Years after she died, I learned to quilt from my mother (who had learned from someone else other than her mother) and learned to knit--the left-handed or German way (even though I'm right-handed) from her sister.
This past week, something that my grandmother said over and over--something that I thought was totally silly--came back to bite me in the butt. I was knitting a scarf with variegated yarn. I'd bought three skeins, found I needed a couple more, and when I went back to get some more from a different store, as I continued to knit, I found that the yarn didn't quite match. It was close, but off enough that it bugged me.
Make sure it's all from the same dye lot. My grandmother would meticulously check the dye lot numbers when buying yarn. Inside I'd laugh, figuring machines made it, it was all the same.
I guess Grandma had the last laugh this week, when I had to unravel a bunch of the scarf and go with a different plan.
Here's a few other things I learned from my maternal grandmother:
- There's something satisfying about keeping your hands busy.
- People-watching results in some amazing sights.
- Dance shows are entertaining. (She loved to watch "American Bandstand." I love "So You Think You Can Dance.")
- A slice of chocolate chiffon pie can solve most problems. (Hers was the best.)
- Good gravy is next to godliness. (Her gravy--like silk, so rich and full of flavor.)
What did your grandmother teach you? A mind with a wounded buttocks wants to know...