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 Never thought a knitting gift could make me sad...
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The Crafty One
Chatty Knitter

185 Posts

Posted - 04/04/2006 :  7:34:34 PM  Show Profile Send The Crafty One a Private Message
...until now. My friend called me over the weekend to inform me her mother died two weeks ago. I was invited to her home today because she wanted to give me some of her mother's things, mainly clothing and shoes (and a stuffed cat she bought for her mother's hospital room, when she was in a 5-day coma before she died (my friend claims she doesn't like dolls). My friend knew I knit but didn't realize I crochet too (we are both artists and spent many hours in her studio painting, knitting was mostly solitary). When she found out she immediately gave me her mother's crochet basket as well. Well, this beautiful lidded basket contained lots more than crochet hooks and yarn, there were dozens upon dozens of embroidery floss and hoops, circular knitting needles, WIP's, needlepoint wool, sewing needles and thread, buttons, yarn, crochet hooks with holder, fabric, handwritten patterns, etc., etc. I've dreamed about receiving large knitting-related gifts, I just never imagined it would happen this way. I never thought I would say this, but I hope I am never given another knitting-related gift again, if I only receive them in this fashion.


Permanent Resident

1496 Posts

Posted - 04/04/2006 :  7:49:20 PM  Show Profile Send Busyhands a Private Message
That is sad, but I know I would like someone to really enjoy my supplies when I am gone. I have some knitting needles that used to belong to my mom's close friend and 'adopted mom', and I think of her and their friendship when I use them. I think she would be happy to know they are still being used to keep loved ones warm and happy!

Lin, High Priestess of Liberal Color Usage
"Wearing cheerful, multicolored hats is a public service, easy to perform, and of incalculable value." - Anna Zilboorg
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Permanent Resident

1770 Posts

Posted - 04/04/2006 :  7:49:28 PM  Show Profile Send yarnlover a Private Message
Yes, but think of how happy it would have made the Mom to know someone else will treasure her treasures. Many families would have just tossed the basket in the trash, you know, Mom's old junk.....

See My Stuff: Here

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Permanent Resident

1745 Posts

Posted - 04/04/2006 :  8:12:31 PM  Show Profile  Visit klfrazier's Homepage Send klfrazier a Private Message
A couple of years ago we lost a close family friend. I specifically asked her daughters for a few of her knitting things. Mom and I then cleaned out all of the unclaimed things from her estate sale. (The lady in question once had a knitting store in her home.) I have a basket of her leftovers with two sets of her needles with a large swatch still on one set prominately displayed in my living room. I've never once felt sad about any of it, even though our friend passed rather suddenly. Instead, it's a wonderful reminder of a beautiful woman, and it comforts me to know that we shared something in common.

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Becky in MO
Seriously Hooked

769 Posts

Posted - 04/05/2006 :  02:29:12 AM  Show Profile  Send Becky in MO a Yahoo! Message Send Becky in MO a Private Message
I have a good friend, who incouraged me to pick up knitting once again several years ago. Because of this, we have grown quite close despite our differences in taste.
SHe is the ultimate in building her stash of yarn. She has the yarn stash for two or three life times. I sometimes tease here mercilessly about putting me on her will. But, I'll tell you - I would be the first to fall to pieces if she did pass on.
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Permanent Resident

United Kingdom
1281 Posts

Posted - 04/05/2006 :  04:58:46 AM  Show Profile Send Valk_scot a Private Message
Use it and remember her. She wouldn`t have wanted her things to be thrown out. For long enough all women had to pass on was their tools and the work of their hands. You`re just part of an ancient chain of remembering, you know.

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Pat in east Texas
Chatty Knitter

314 Posts

Posted - 04/05/2006 :  05:00:29 AM  Show Profile Send Pat in east Texas a Private Message
Most of my knitting needles and tools and a lot of my kitchen tools were my MIL's. She's been gone for 20 years now, but I always remember how she loved to knit and cook, and enjoy the "connection".
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Permanent Resident

1333 Posts

Posted - 04/05/2006 :  05:19:12 AM  Show Profile Send blazfglori a Private Message
I'm so sorry for your friend's loss. :(

Use her Mom's supplies and remember.
You will keep her memory alive.

Take care.


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Permanent Resident

3337 Posts

Posted - 04/05/2006 :  05:49:05 AM  Show Profile Send Chemcats a Private Message
My grandmother knitted and crocheted, and although she didn't teach me, I know watching her definately influenced me. When she died, my mother got her knitting bag. Remember the old carpetbags? That thing was awesome. Well, my mother threw it out during a move. Honestly, I wish I had it now...the look of it and the memories, and the history.

Feel the sadness, but also treasure the gift. It really is a legacy.
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Permanent Resident

7254 Posts

Posted - 04/05/2006 :  06:08:56 AM  Show Profile  Send gwtreece a Yahoo! Message Send gwtreece a Private Message
Don't feel sad about receiving the items. I think it is wonderful that your friend thought you would appreciate the wonderful items from her mother. As you know when someone passes away it is extremely difficult to go thru their items but it always helps me feel better knowing that when I give a friend something from my family that they are receiving it because they will treasure the items.

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Boston Terrier Knitter
Chatty Knitter

315 Posts

Posted - 04/05/2006 :  06:20:14 AM  Show Profile Send Boston Terrier Knitter a Private Message
I think that it is really nice you received those things. And, maybe what you could do is for your first project with her supplies is to donate it to a charity for an auction, or knit something for premies, etc. That would be a nice tribute to the lady who passed away.

But, I can also understand your sadness.

"Nothing in America is more American or more expressive of the American spirit than that of the little American dog, the Boston terrier."
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Chatty Knitter

New Zealand
320 Posts

Posted - 04/06/2006 :  05:09:30 AM  Show Profile  Visit eclair's Homepage Send eclair a Private Message
Recently my mother generously passed on to me all my grandmother's knitting needles and crochet hooks. There are over 200 of them. I have the coloured needles on display in an old vase and they remind me of Nan everytime I see them. I know a lot of those needles belonged to her friends who died before her and the tools were given to Nan by their children- many of whom she had known since infancy and she probably knitted for most of them. One day I shall give my children the needles (if they like knitting) and I'll tell them about Nan, Ena, Clair, Maisie and the other ladies I remember from my childhood. They gave us biscuits and shouted at us for picking the apples before they were ripe. They always appeared at the garden fence when we visited my grandmother and I can remember them sitting in my Nan's front room and drinking oceans of tea and all talking at once. I certainly remember sitting on the floor by the sofa and watching the yarn in the workbags wiggle upwards to the knitting in progress. And now I have those same needles that I remember from over 30 years ago. Soppy, I know, but missing Nan doesn't feel so bad when I have a connection to her in my hands. She loved roses, cats, fruitcake, wrestling and knitting. She was irish, deaf as a post, a terrible cook and a wonderful listener.

Having your friend's gift will make you feel sad, but that will lessen with time. It will also make you feel closer to the lady who died- you can hold what she held. I bet she'd be glad knowing that her precious workbasket (think how precious your's is!) has fallen into the hands of someone who will use it, enjoy it and remember her fondly. My Nan would be pleased- I bet your friend would too.

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Chatty Knitter

123 Posts

Posted - 04/06/2006 :  07:02:47 AM  Show Profile Send tsarina a Private Message
Leslie- I promise you will not feel sad in time! Keep these things safe and use them, and maybe in a hundred fifty years something like what happened to me will happen to you and your friend's mom- and you will both be alive again!
When my grandfather passed away, my mom set to work cleaning out closets that hadn't been cleaned in years. (My grandmother had died before my grandfather). She found "knitting and embroidery stuff" in a box and sent it onto me. Well, in the box was an ancient book- what we would call a journal today. It was my great great grandmother's "notebook" for her knitting and tatting. On the cover says "A. Mc. Hutchinson" and "November 1883". Inside, my gggrandmother had written all her handmade lace patterns, slipper patterns, sock patterns...and in the case of the delicate laces, had glued a sample of each...Now, for some reason, they abbreviated things differently in the 1890's than they do now...and I thought "how the heck am I going to decipher this..." and I turned to the back page, where she had cut out from a magazine of the day "abbreviations used in knitting" and glued it down...sort of a "rosetta stone"--she even had postcards my great grandmother sent her while on her honeymoon tucked into the book!
It's one of my greatest treasures.....and I bet, in time, your "sad" new stash will be treasures, too!

Well behaved women rarely make history!
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Gabber Extraordinaire

409 Posts

Posted - 04/06/2006 :  07:14:20 AM  Show Profile Send virtualpurl a Private Message
What a lovely remembrance you shared, Eclair. It's a gift to be able to write like that, and to remember.
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Sustaining Member

122 Posts

Posted - 04/06/2006 :  2:07:22 PM  Show Profile Send KEG a Private Message
For the past ten months I've been working to close up my father's estate and distribute his things. I can't tell you how happy it made me, how comforting it was, every time I found a good home for something that he used and enjoyed. You helped your friend by accepting her offer, remember that as well.
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Permanent Resident

Costa Rica
1987 Posts

Posted - 04/06/2006 :  2:46:56 PM  Show Profile  Visit booglass's Homepage Send booglass a Private Message
I agree with those that have said it would make your friend's mother proud to know here treasured crafty tools were still being used. And it just might bring some comfort to your friend to know the same thing. Try not to be sad. Instead consider the history of the items. Think of all the lovely things they have been used to make.

Finally, what a compliment for your friend to think of you as a good home for these items.


Check out my blog:
Tropical Knits
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Chatty Knitter

112 Posts

Posted - 04/08/2006 :  6:32:18 PM  Show Profile Send knittyref a Private Message
I have obtained my knitting needles and crochet hooks from 3 different sources--my own purchase, those of my grandmother's (some of which belonged to her mother), and those of a longtime family friend.

I have found that working with the older needles/hooks that have "history" make the project even more enjoyable. Hopefully, someday, you'll feel the connection when using these items that were gifted to you and instead of making you sad will give you great comfort.

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The Crafty One
Chatty Knitter

185 Posts

Posted - 04/08/2006 :  6:57:21 PM  Show Profile Send The Crafty One a Private Message
Thank you all for your kind words and suggestions. I have taken advice from mostly all of you and have the basket displayed in my living room (along with the pink rose she crocheted on top). Since I posted, I have gone through the items numerous times and have been able to smile. In the past, I have been the recipient of numerous skeins of yarn, needles, and older books and patterns, gifts from my father's fiancee. They were originally her mother's and grandmother's, both deceased, whom I've never met when alive (but visited their graves), so it didn't upset me. I was touched that she gave them to me since she has a daughter-in-law, stating that she knew I would put them to good use, instead of storing them away. I realize now how blessed I am that my friends treat me like a family member and know how much I treasure these items and am putting them to good use. I now view these "hand-me-downs" as a way of keeping my friend's memory alive as well as sustaining a valued tradition. Thank you for helping me see the light.

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New Pal

17 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2006 :  09:27:50 AM  Show Profile Send Ranch a Private Message
Passing tools and works of artisens usto be a very inporten tradtion, the hourse of love and open inergy of cretion seem to swerl from them like a sweet perfume. In the act of passing them from one artisen to the next we pass much more than just a simpel tool, we pass the love and cratevaty of all thows how have held them befor us, bindding the never endding yarns in the tappastrys of our artasens lives to-gether.
I'm sorry for you and your freans loss. But pls rember you have been chosen for this gift for a resone. Your freand must love you dearly. Wow sorry, I got all hippy on ya there and almost sound like I know what I'm talking about rolf. :) I only wich you and your freand the best. I'm so glad you where abel to find the joy in them.
BB, Toni

lol, life easyer that way
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