Monday, December 20, 2010

Sweet Knitted Bells


My mom is a knitting genius. Ever since I can remember, she has had some knitting project going and as one of her daughters I was the recipient of many of those projects. I didn't appreciate it when I was young, a fact that now makes me sad. I wish I could go back and retrieve all those sweaters and vests she made for me over those years. I'd hug them tight and marvel at their construction. The things I do have, the sweater, the slippers and the afghans, I do treasure and I recognize their worth. I have these bells she made for me and attached to a Christmas present she sent through the mail. I hang them on the tree every year as a tribute to my mom.

Over the years I have finally recognized that my mother did not express love with her words as much as she did with her deeds. I know that every inch of the yarn she uses goes through her fingers and then is woven into the item she creates. Knitting is her way of saying all those things she wishes she could but finds difficult to do because of her background and upbringing.

My creative urges go towards making cookies and writing short essays, things that are gobbled up, and then forgotten. My mother, however, leaves behind literally hundreds of items that people hold, use, wear and wrap around themselves to keep out the cold. Because of her eyesight, she does not knit anymore. I know the knitted items I have now are the only items I will have from her. So does that mean I box up the beautiful afghan and never use it? I am tempted to do so, but, no, I use it. There is no other blanket like it for making me feel warm.

And on Christmas morning, I will wrap myself up in it, feeling the hug I know is there, and sit with my family by the tree, looking up at the bells my mom made for me.

43 comments:

Seams Inspired said...

I can so relate! My Grandma crocheted afghans for me. I feel completely wrapped in love every time I use them. :o) What a treasure you have in those bell ornaments.

Merry CHRISTmas! :o)

Catherine said...

Isn't it funny how little things can help us remember the most beautiful things. These knitted bells are so cute.

Have a beautiful Christmas week Betty!
xo Catherine

welcome to my world of poetry said...

The certainly are lovely bells and the love that must have went into knitting them.

Happy Christmas.
Yvonne.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

The certainly are lovely bells and the love that must have went into knitting them.

Happy Christmas.
Yvonne.

Jules said...

Lovely! An eternal hug from a ball of yarn. :)

Happy Holidays
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

BigSis said...

Such a nice post. We had a dar family friend who kept my Barbies in the latest fashion with her knitting and crocheting. I wish I'd saved those!

Out on the prairie said...

Many of us take little heed of things we have until we can have them no more.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Aww...that is so nice. My mom crochets and I have some beautiful blankets, placemats, and dining room table cloths. I'm so proud of them, too!

VivaciousVegan said...

My mother used to make me toys out of yarn, I would give anything to retrieve those lost loves from my childhood. All the barbie clothes and Christmas boots were loving created. I am so glad you hang them on your tree, it made me happy!

Nat said...

My mom is a great knitter - I have a chest full of sweaters she made, that I will probably never wear again but I just can't bear to throw them away!
Reading your post reminds me why it's a good things to hang onto them...

Leah J. Utas said...

Oh, yeah. I have a knit tuque my grandmother made. I wish I had more, but this is at least something.

Gigi said...

How sweet. Yes, we never appreciate these things at the time. Snuggle up in in that afghan and have a Merry Christmas, Betty!

Old Kitty said...

Awww BB! These knitted bells are just lovely - perfect and beautiful - just like mum!!

Take care
x

Sarah said...

This is so sweet. Happy Holidays to you and the family.

Cheeseboy said...

Well, technically as long as blogspot stays in business, this blog will be around forever for generations to enjoy. At least that is what I am thinking - - that my kids and grandkids will someday read my blog and laugh.

If not, I think I will have to take up knitting.

Entre Nous said...

You have served to remind me of the sweter my mother knit for me when I was in my twenties. It was swiped in a restroom in NYC while my sister and I were holiday shopping. I still wonder if whomever needed that sweater more than me is still warmed by it's wool.

And of course I have forgotten the wording of the phrase every time a bell rings and something to do with angels, but the thought is there, even if your bells do not make an audible noise. Happy Holidays.

Joni

Green Monkey said...

I remember crocheted tissue box and toilet seat covers but have no idea where they ended up (I'm hoping the trash - OH the germs!). But you're right, our mothers generation was not always good at expressing emotions.

I would not except anything store bought from my children. Even now with Lindsay being 20. Because of this I have some wonderful heirlooms. My favorite, made by Kerry, is a poem he wrote when he was 12. I have it framed - its rippled and faded and fabulous!

one year for mothers day, I forced both my children and husband to join me in making ceramic bowls. We use them pretty much every day but the constant washing has taken a toll on them. They are chipped and losing their glaze. I can't toss them, instead they rest in a cabinet like a trophy. :)

ooops, I'm rambling... your posts always ignite something true and deep inside me.

Baby Sister said...

That is really sweet. I'm starting to learn that about my mom...that the things she does for me now will not be around forever. Those bells are a perfect memory.

Coloring Outside the Lines said...

Aww you made me tear up this morning! Hand made love is what I call it. Love this post.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's wonderful she's leaving you something to treasure.

Pat said...

That would be my Dad and his little wooden projects. I can't help but think of him especially at Christmas when I drag out my Christmas decorations!

Dillypoo said...

What a lovely post! Cheers to you and your mom this holiday.

Cricket said...

Yep. We have on our tree a bunch of mini mittens, hats, socks and skates, that my wife's grandmother made for her.

Even though it was her grandmother, not mine, I still like being able to tell my children "your great-grandmother made those." I hope they will treasure them, too, someday.

HulaBuns said...

Oh Betty. I LOVE This post. My mom also makes things and I treasure them. I put together a mini tree with all of her ornaments that she made me. it's ugly (because of me, not because what she made is ugly, I think I put it together kind of ugly-like) and I could not love it more. Thanks for this post, it truly touched my heart today.

DrSoosie said...

Hi Betty. I have not been on the computer much as I have been traveling to see the kids and now am back with a lot of work to catch up on. I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and and a healthy and happy New Year. I have enjoyed you blog so much. It is joyful and light and always brings a smile to my face. Thank you for you friendship and insights into my thoughts. I want you to know that I truly appreciate it.

Pat Tillett said...

What a nice and thoughtful post Betty! Memories...

Jimmy said...

Very Nice Betty, So many people box up and put away items like this, but I am with you in that you are using that afghan and feeling the love that went into it's making as it was intended.

floweringmama said...

Ah Betty, things made from love are meant to be used. To be used is to be loved.

Merry Christmas!

Madi and Mom said...

BB
The afgan made by your mom's loving hands is her hugging you each time you wrap yourself in it.

Just between you and me...I made my daughter one for Christmas this year...IT IS A BIG surprise...I can hardly wait for her to open it.
Hugs C

roxy said...

This was such a sweet post, Betty. I hope that my children cherish memories of me when I'm gone. I love the Christmas bells. Happy holidays.

Ann said...

that is just so sweet. And the afghan is just like a hug from mom every time you use it.

Olga said...

This post is really beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

Nicolasa said...

Very sweet post. Those bells are beautiful and what they symbolize is even more beautiful.

The Retired One said...

A very poignant and touching post...I am sure she is smiling down at you and wishing you every happiness!

gayle said...

You are so lucky to have things your mother made!!! I think I will get busy and try to make my girls an afgan. It would be a huge project but so worth it to them one day.

GreatGranny said...

Even though your Mom couldn't express love like some can, she was a real treasure like those lovely bells.

CherylK said...

Betty, I'm so excited to see this post! My mom knitted these bells, too!! Only mine are red and white and green. I LOVE them!

faye said...

I have over 25 little teddy bears
( ornaments ) that my mom hand painted for my first Christmas
tree many years ago. Each one is
special.

Zuzana said...

What a heartwarming post. My mom used to knit as well and I recall wearing knitted dresses that she made for us kids...
If I do not get a chance later one, I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
xoxo

Susan Fields said...

There's nothing like a homemade afghan to keep you warm! How wonderful that your mother has given you these gifts you can cherish forever.

slommler said...

What wonderful memories you have of your mom's handiwork! And to have the actual pieces is such a blessing. I can tell you treasure them highly.
Merry Christmas
Hugs
SueAnn

Leanne said...

Oh, I'm just loving these little stories and looks into the life of Betty. Such sweet story, Betty. I have an afghan from my Grandma that warms me up like nothing, and I know exactly how you feel about the items you have from your Mom. Really great post, dear friend.

Daisy said...

I've got several afghans that my mother made for me that keep me warm like no others. Lovely, wonderful post, Betty. I love the bells!