Last month, my grandmother, Oddy, passed away after a short illness. She was 95 years old. When I was 5 or 6, she taught me how to knit. I can remember perfectly the yarn I learned with - it must have been Red Heart (or some similar 80s option) in what I thought was a perfectly lovely red, white and blue ombre. I don't remember the actually learning of the stitches, but I can see perfectly in my head the hideously uneven, messy scarf-like thing I made with it, all garter stitch, with tons of dropped stitches and yarnovers and such. It was horrific. But it was also the first step down a road that has lead, 30 years later, to my current pursuits at spinning and designing, and knitting socks for my husband, and sweaters for my daughters. She gave me the ability to keep my loved ones warm with the work of my hands. And given that I come from a long line of intellectual-type folks, being able to make something, to create, is a phenomenal gift. We leave today to go up to Maine for her memorial service, so it seems fitting to write a bit about her here.
When I was pregnant with Devil, I got a blanket in the mail from Oddy. Although she'd been living in a nursing home for quite a while and was clearly fading, she'd started a baby blanket for her first great-grandchild. I believe my aunt finished it, but it's always been a gift from my grandmother, and both of the girls have slept with it.
Last Christmas, we were home in New England, and she got to meet the girls, Boo for the first time. Devil was a little concerned about being in a place that looked and felt to her like a really, really big doctor's office, but Oddy gave her a present and they bonded. On our way out, she walked down the hallway next to Oddy's wheelchair, holding her hand.
My grandmother had a phenomenal memory (she was the defacto family historian because she remembered everything), she could out-etiquette Ms. Manners herself, and she was a terrible cook. She once asked me if I wanted to "come out", which meant something entirely different in 1988 then it means now. And she taught me to knit. Thank you Oddy. You are very much missed.