I knit. And I cook, write, take pictures. All for one low price.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

In Memoriam Betty Smith 1909-2009

In October, I had the great fortune to be invited to a get together for one of my customers, Betty Smith of Voorheesville, NY. She had passed away earlier in the summer at the age of 99, barely missing her 100th birthday and the hot air balloon ride she wanted to go on. Betty's family and friends, quilters and knitters were invited to celebrate Betty. She had been living with her granddaughter, Linda, for the last few years. Linda put together a wonderful party and an exhibit of some of Betty's work.

I knew that Betty had been a prolific knitter since she was taught to knit at an early age, during WW I, when everybody was encouraged to knit socks for the soldiers. I had also heard that Betty was a quilter. But oh boy, I had no idea. None.

I remember her coming to my shop at the time, when a book called Knitted Babes came out. Betty was not only supersmart (a double major and then teacher of both math and art), creative, alert, and all around wonderful soul, she also had a great sense of humor. She literally made everyone she came in contact with smile.

She delighted in making these knitted dolls, including their clothes and flip-flops.

Betty made innumerable pairs of socks during her lifetime.

If I ever live to be over 90 years old, I hope to be able to knit fun things for my grandkids and greatgrand kids!

A series of felted purses.

a sampling of Betty's handwork

And then there was the quilt exhibit. Linda gave me permission to take pictures.

Gotcha! Not a quilt, but a tray of cookies!

The little Flying Geese are 1 inch across.

From a movie being shown that day. Her quilters group had made it.
I have a feeling that Betty Smith made a lot more quilts than that even. Knowing her, she had probably made them for all her kids and their kids and their kids, too.
The exuberance expressed in her work seems to say to all of us: Go forth and craft with abandon!
Thank you Betty, it was an utter privilege to know you.


Anonymous said...

What a lovely tribute!

Mare said...

Wow! What a wonderful woman! I wish i knew her....

Pat D said...

Thanks for sharing this! I never met Betty, but feel very moved and touched by her life through her crafts. Remarkable!!

AlisonH said...

Wonderful! Celebrated in style.

f said...

Thanks so much for sharing. Wish I had met her.