I am not sure if anyone has noticed the new picture I put in the upper right corner?
That is my maternal grandmother with her three girls.
The one on the left is my mother, the baby is my Tante Gudrun, and the girl on the right is my late Tante Carola.
My mom and aunt Carola are wearing matching handmade sweater cardigans. We have several more pictures of the family with all three girls wearing matching handmade outfits. My grandfather loved photographing all his girls, and we are lucky to have most of the photographs.
Those sweaters were made by my grandmother, who was a handcrafter extraordinaire. She knew how to knit, crochet, did rughooking, and made tapestries (I think that's what it's called -- large needlepoint wallhangings). She had 7 grandchildren, and with the 3 sets of parents of those kids, there were lots of people to knit for! I remember many Christmases where we all got a pair of socks, or slipper socks.
She also canned and preserved, and helped run my grandfather's business.
All three of her daughters inherited her talent for all things hand made; aunt Carola was an avid knitter, as is my mother, who also sewed us girls' outfits throughout our childhood. My mother has done knitting, crocheting, basketweaving, and silk painting, which she is still doing to this day. Hand her an armful of yarn and she can make a sweater without a pattern. One Christmas she made 15 pairs of socks. My aunt Gudrun is the one who knows how to draw and knows all kinds of papercrafts. My own sister has an amzing eye for design and also knows how to knit!
I learned how to knit and crochet in second grade, and I still have some of the barbie doll clothes I attempted. (By the way, I have an entire little doll suitcase full of doll clothes that my grandmother made. I believe she made them for all of her 4 granddaughters. Some day I will pull them out and take pictures for you.)
Soon, I'll have some pictures of sweaters I made when I was a lot younger...also made without a pattern. 'Cause it seems I must have learned how to knit by osmosis...I do not remember following a pattern when I made my first pair of socks at age 16. Ditto for mittens.
I will admit to you now that I never followed a sock pattern until I opened my yarn shop in 2002, and folks started asking for them...somehow just telling them "Oh, all you do is this, and this..." wasn't enough...:)
And now here I am, writing patterns for people to follow.
I wish I could just sit with you all and we could learn from each other's needles, like I did from my Oma and mom.
Asking my sister for help here...I think Tante Carola's name is spelled with a K. Karola. Ever since I was a kid, I've never gotten it right. :(