three generations sharpened

In 1900 at the age of twenty one, Maria Carlson came to America from Sweden. She needed a sponsor family, the Petersons, and a job, which she also had in a local Brooklyn bakery. She was coming to meet the man she thought she would marry and they would move to Australia, but the Petersons told her he was not a good man and that she should not do this. She listened.

She learned English well, became a citizen as soon as she could and met Oscar Anderson at the local Lutheran Church. The Petersons approved.

Maria was a staunch believer in voting. She would study all the candidates and issues and felt if you didn’t vote you had no right to complain, as you had done nothing to change the situation.

More to the point of this story, Maria loved to crochet. Over the years she made countless tablecloths, doilies, baby clothes, curtains, runners, you name it. She made up her own patterns, inspired by the simplest of things, like frost on a window pane.

Oscar was a carpenter and skilled cabinetmaker. Their son Rudy was also a carpenter and artist who designed patterns for his mother as well. One of the things I love about her is that if she felt the need to work out a pattern or piece all day, she would, whether the dishes got done or not.

While crochet was her first love, Maria also knew how to knit; a skill she taught her daughter Margaret and granddaughter, Eleanor. I spent last week in Florida knitting hats with my mom (Eleanor). Even though Maria died 53 years ago when I was only four, the memories are still there and her creativity has been passed down through generations.

In my family we simply, lovingly, refer to Maria as “Old Grandma”. She made fabulous Swedish pancakes, got really good at jumping out of the way of spilled milk, read to us from the How and Why Library and didn’t go to Australia.

Smile, relax and knit,


Have You Shaved Your Sweater Lately?


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As winter begins to wind down (maybe) and you think about putting your sweaters in a drawer, a trunk, on a shelf, away, we would like to add a few thoughts.

First, wash them. We like hand washing in sweater shampoo. Moths love dirty sweaters and it’s well known that they prefer dirty cashmere. Plus you’ll have fresh, clean sweaters many months from now when you need them again.

Second, let’s talk about lengthening the life of your sweater. As we all know, there are very few yarns that don’t pill, at least a little. The question is, “what do you do about that?” We recommend sweater shavers. Removing the fuzz and/or pills periodically will greatly extend the years and original personality of your garment.

How do you store your sweaters? Any thoughts you would like to share?

Smile, relax and knit,


What Kind of Knitter Are You?

What kind of knitter are you? Have you knit all your life, or did you take a break and come back?

Are you a seasonal knitter, someone we only see in the Fall and Winter?

Are you a passionate knitter with a project in your handbag in case you have to stand in line too long?

Do you know someone who knit years ago and wants to start up again? Or do you have a friend bugging you to teach them to knit?

Well, pick an evening, a bottle of wine, pint of ice cream, bar of Godiva, which ever suits your mood. Get a pair of needles, a good ball of yarn and oh yes, your friend. Cast on for them, see what happens and remember to laugh!

Smile, relax and knit,


 Enjoying Knit Nite.cropped resized

Speaking of weather!

Ski Sweater

I know it seems wrong to complain about our weather when our neighbors to our southeast are having their yarn packages delivered through the second story window, but really, does it have to be this cold?

I have a ski sweater that my mother knit me many years ago. I don’‛t wear it very often because it’s really warm. I’ve probably enjoyed that warmth more times this year than I have in the past five years.

My mother (in Florida) said she heard Boston’s snow referred to in Biblical proportions and didn’t realize there had been snow in the Bible. I said to be patient with the Weather Channel, they are running out of adjectives and adverbs. I just wish that when they get excited about a big storm and send everyone to the store for batteries, water and bread that I could get them to add yarn. After all if you’re going to be snowed in for a few days you don’‛t want to run out of knitting!

Smile, relax and knit,