A Family of Tea Grannies!

A Selection of Tea

What does knitting have to do with tea?  For me it is almost an integral part of the process.  When I sit and knit I usually have tea at hand.  The only exception is evening knitting, and as I like strong tea the caffeine kick has started  to keep me awake in the last few years.

Tea was part of my growing up as well.  Our family are tea drinkers, both my father and my mother grew up with tea as part of the family tradition, and my children both drink tea.  Tea may have been a family traditon, but each family drank tea differently.

Granny Baptie

My Mother and Granny both thought that a fresh pot of tea meant adding more water and another tea bag to a pot that was kept warm on the stove – I grew up drinking extremely strong tea.  My Father and Granny Nellie liked tea as well – but this was quite a different pot.  Tea was ceremonial, you always started with loose tea and a warmed pot and while it was strong it was never stewed!  The tea was usually Irish Breakfast or Earl Grey.  I can drink any type of tea but prefer tea with ceremony.  At home the tea is loose, the pot is warmed and is always fresh!

Granny Nellie and Uncle Agnar

I have been thinking on both of my Grannies this last year, and the other women of my family – and about the gift of craft that they have given me.  Every woman, on both sides of the family, of my mother’s and grandmother’s generation, had a craft that they loved and practised.  All knit, some better than others, all crocheted, and some created practical items and others the less practical.  My mother knit, crocheted and did petit and needle point.  The petit point and needle point were her favorites – my home is filled with her pictures mostly florals and tapestrys, but some portraits, like the ones above.

Both of my Grannies prefered crochet – at least I think that they did, most of what I remember them doing was crochet. 

Granny Baptie's Dolls

My Granny Baptie was very practical.  She did not collect many things, at least not until later, and then she started to collect miniatures.  But I remember her best as being very practical, and not liking lots of “dust collectors” as she called them!  It was when she crocheted that she allowed herself to be less than practical, her doilies were works of art, always starched and laid out with the small ornaments that she allowed herself.  She created doll clothes for small dolls that I remember playing with as a young girl.  Granny always had these dolls on display high on a shelf.  I have those dolls and everytime I pull them out I am reminded of her and my childhood.  They are faded and worn and their hair is falling out, but the memories are always strong.

Granny's beautiful Table Cloth

My Granny Nellie, was very feminine and loved pretty things, she collected china, bed dolls, jewelery and china figurines and all things royal.  Going to see her meant that we were dressed up, usually, and had to behave ourselves (well mostly).  She was always crocheting something, but they were always practical, afghans were her favorite – I still have two of them.  But she also crocheted Table Cloths – I have one of those as well.  These were things of beauty and grace and looked beautiful on the dark rich wood that she liked.

It is always amazing to me how the tangible things can tie us so firmly to the intangible.  The memories that fade can be sharpened by the sight of something thought forgotten, or by the action of hands as they create something new.  I beleive that there is a direct link from me to the women of my family through the actions of our hands as we sit and share the crafts that have been practised through the years by the women of our family.

I have many cousins and most of us have some creative craft that we love to do.  I think that most of us knit, and some sew.  But we all are lost without something to do with our hands.  The generation coming after us also knits and is therefore connected to the women before.  The connections grow stronger with each generation.

For the Women of my family and all crafters – teach, share, connect.

Happy Knitting


About letissierdesigns

March 2017 - My new site is now up and functioning. I can blog, share my thoughts and photographs, and sell my patterns! So much happening in my life and all is creative and forward moving! Thanks for taking the time to stop by. Sept 2015 - I haven't updated this in a while! Still knitting, always knitting, I still teach and work at Mad About Ewe Fine Yarns. I also have designed for Vogue Knitting, Koigu Magazine, Zealana, Jimmie Beans, and Malabrigo, As of the beginning of 2015 I also became creative director of the Buffalo Wool Co., a new job that just flows along with what I already do. I am a knitting teacher and knitwear designer. I work full time in my LYS, Mad About Ewe Fine Yarns. I recently was 1st runner up in a Vogue Knitting Design Competition called the Magic of Mohair. My design was featured in the Early Fall 2011 Vogue Knitting. I will have another design in the Vogue Knitting Winter 2011 edition. I have recently purchased a Canon Rebel Camera and have started taking way too many pictures. I love this site for sharing my thoughts and pictures. Life is good!
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3 Responses to A Family of Tea Grannies!

  1. Sharon Cameron says:

    Nice to read about our Granny, I have just started knitting for my Grandbaby “Paige”.
    I had done 3 pairs of socks, two hats and a sweater for myself. In my spare time I work and sew. Congrats to you ………a happy knitter …….Sharon
    My Mom taught me to knit sitting behind me on the back stairs, your Mom taught me petie point, we all have many good ideas and crafts.

    • Hi Sharon,
      Thanks for sharing – I didn’t know that Mum taught you to petit point! Your mum taught me to crochet when we stayed with her for the month or so after Malaysia! Congrats on Grandbaby!


  2. Pingback: The Early Bird…. | Le Tissier Designs

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