From My Grandma’s Stash


My grandma was a knitter. Obsessive, like me. Now in her 80s, her hands have failed her. They are arthritic and painful, and she no longer knits. I recall her teaching me to knit as a young girl. I have a blurry memory of a multi-colored skein of acrylic and lots of messy stiches.

I lived far from my grandma, and her knitting lessons never stuck. It wasn’t until years later that I again picked up the art, taught by a friend while traveling through Mexico. Despite our shared obsession, my grandma and I never had much of a chance to knit together. The thought of this loss of potential…hours we could have spent together knitting but never did…saddens me.

Some years ago, I ended up with a chunk of my grandma’s stash and a substantial collection of old issues of Vogue Knitting. All this time, it has been sitting in my hall closet. Alone.

To be honest, her destashed yarn hasn’t had much appeal to me. It isn’t what I would have chosen, but it has merit. I found myself between large undertakings over the weekend and picked up a skein of Fantacia Cin Cin. The label reads textured yarn from Italy, and it is a cottom synthetic blend in 50 g skeins. I thought at one time there might be enough for a tank, but I doubt there is. I think it might be decades old, but I am not entirely sure of its precise age or even its original purpose.

It is a nubbly yarn. Very textured. I am making a head band of sorts to wrap around my frizzy hair on those mornings when I must be out and about before showering and desire to hide my untidied hair from the world. It will be my own design. I will think of my grandma with each stitch.

This week I am participating in the Small Things Yarn Along with Ginny. Check it out.ย ย I am just starting to read a bunch of parenting books…

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26 Comments

  • Reply adelightfulglow August 5, 2015 at 6:42 am

    The yarn looks beautiful! And having a tag from Italy intrigues me. I have glassware from Italy and France that I love. I like European textiles.

    I’m impressed that you are just making your own design! Woo-hoo!

  • Reply Tagati August 5, 2015 at 8:36 am

    What a great way to use your Grandmother’s stash!

  • Reply purepurly August 5, 2015 at 9:17 am

    Lovely story, and old yarn is always useful as details or stripes etc in a larger garment! And old Vogue knitting magazines must be so fun to read!

  • Reply Louise August 5, 2015 at 10:20 am

    What a lovely post. It will be nice to have something knit from your Grandma’s yarn. I have my Grandma’s knitting bag. It is untouched with her yarn and needles just as she left it <3

  • Reply Susan August 5, 2015 at 10:58 am

    How lucky to have your grandmother’s yarn. I think she would really appreciate that you’re using it to make a lovely headband for yourself. It looks beautiful.

  • Reply nanacathy2 August 6, 2015 at 12:13 am

    Looking at the yarn I think it is about 20 to 30 years old and would have been used for a summer top. Lovely that you are using your Gran’s stash

  • Reply MrsKirstyHoll August 6, 2015 at 12:42 am

    It’s really nice that you can make some use out of the stash ๐Ÿ™‚ Head bands are a cute idea. The wool will make a cute one I think. Look forward to seeing the F.O ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply knittedblissjc August 6, 2015 at 9:08 am

    It’s interesting how there are really strong yarn trends from certain decades- the 80s was all about those nubbly textured acrylic yarns! There is something very magical-sounding about knitting from your grandmother’s stash, though.

    • Reply Andrea @ This Knitted Life August 6, 2015 at 10:03 am

      Oh how I love the 80s. I could really go for a good ol’ 80s dance party right about now….????

  • Reply wifemummynurse August 6, 2015 at 9:10 am

    That’s wonderful that you’re able to use yarn from your grandmother’s stash. My granny knit as well, and I regret not asking my mum for some of her yarn. Thankfully, I have a pair of her old needles.

  • Reply Rachel August 7, 2015 at 4:59 am

    I love that you are finding a use for your grandma’s yarn even though it isn’t yarn you would have chosen for yourself. ๐Ÿ™‚ I learned to knit from a friend and a book when I was nine and my mom gave me her “stash” (four skeins, I think) because she hadn’t done any yarny crafts in years. It was all acrylic and I used some of it back then. I actually did hold onto some and just recently got rid of it. One of the skeins had to have been at least forty years old, based on the brand and label. It was a variegated pink and white acrylic that felt horrible, but it was cool to own.

  • Reply pumpkin sunrise August 7, 2015 at 7:05 am

    loved this post and you getting some of your grandmother’s stash ๐Ÿ™‚ I have my mother’s yarns and they remind me of her and I wonder what projects she had planned when she bought them!

    • Reply Andrea @ This Knitted Life August 7, 2015 at 7:07 am

      Do you anything planned with your mother’s stash? Or just to hold onto it as a special keepsake?

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  • Reply eden August 12, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    I’m a grandma-taught knitter too… and like you, I didn’t have much knitting time with her. I don’t have any of her yarn stash, but I did inherit all of her needles and tools. Even though I’m not the biggest fan of metal straights, I’ll never get rid of them.

    • Reply Andrea @ This Knitted Life August 12, 2015 at 12:37 pm

      Aw yes, I feel the same way. Such a treat. And good to keep a set under your pillow if you live in a dangerous area and fear a potential nighttime break in.

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