Now I grew up with a mom that was always sewing. As a matter of fact, the story goes - and I can't confirm nor deny the truth of the story - that when my father bought my mother an engagement ring, she took it back got a cheaper one and a new sewing machine. It sounds just like something my mom would do so...
Everytime we would go somewhere, it was always, well I could make that much cheaper, but since she sewed for other people to help make ends meet - I never ended up getting that "new outfit".
My grandmother might have been a sewer, but I never saw that side of her. My grandmother was always crocheting. She made every child and grandchild an aphgan. Each one had a special pattern and color scheme - mine was a block shape in shades of blue - my favorite color. Being the first grandaughter (four boys born before me), I have to admit I was her favorite. I fell in love with the art of yarn. She taught me to crochet and I wish I could remember that day/moment of her teaching, but sadly I don't. My son was the last great-grandchild she made an blanket for before she passed away. It was very sad to know the tradition was over. I refused to let it die and when my sister became pregnant after Grandma died I carried on the tradition and made a beautiful aphgan for little baby Ethan. I even used a pattern I found in my grandma's stash. It makes me sad to remember how much love she put into every stitch and how that hard work is lost of so many of my family members who still snuggle up with their blankets on cold nights. Mine is packaged up because I'm so afraid of something happening to it. I know she would want me to use it, but I just can't.
My mother's oldest sister taught me another yarn art - knitting. No one else in my family knew this skill. She taught me what knitters call the old way of throwing the yarn and casting on. I have to say this is my favorite "old craft". I've started my own tradition of creating a blanket for everyone I know. I almost always create my projects using varigated yarns in whimsical colors. I have made my son many. My best friend Becky had twins a year ago and I made them each a BEAUTIFUL set of blankets and matching hats. I have pics of them in the hats, but will have to dig up the blanket pics. I'll post pictures of them later. I have made one for each of my in-laws, my best friend for Christmas, my other best friend for her wedding, my neice for her wedding, and on and on the list goes. It brings me joy and them too I hope.
Passing on this art from the generations before me will end with me I think. I have one child - a son and he's not too interested yet! He's only six. It's not only an art to behold but these are practical skills. Let me tell you, it can be cheap or expensive to create a blanket - but the time and heart and soul you put in it is worth it and it lasts a lifetime.
I call on everyone to find time to pass on a tradition/skill/art/craft to someone you know and love - or maybe a stranger at church. Let's not let it be lost.