My Mother’s Hands

Four Generations; from the right, my mother, my grandmother, myself and my daughter.  Behind us the Four Seasons, done in fine Petit Point.

Four Generations; from the right, my mother, my grandmother, myself and my daughter. Behind us the Four Seasons, done in fine Petit Point.

I am surrounded by my Mother’s work and her passion.  The art of Petit Point and Needle Point.  As I am an avid knitter, she was an avid needle-woman.

I remember coming home from school and seeing her working at the dining room table.  Her fingers would fly with her needle, pulling the silk through the fabric; Counting out every stitch to make sure that it was in the right place;  Being careful to use every piece of silk down to the last inch, no wasting of fibre was allowed.   These are some of my favorite memories of my Mother, hands busy and content with her life.  Hands busy, I must get that from her.

My mother collected Antiques and on weekends we would cruise the local stores looking antiques and for antique frames and then my mother would fill them with her work.  Great Memories.

Royal Albert Petit Point Plate.

Royal Albert Petit Point Plate.

The China she collected – Royal Albert Petit Point.

Our antique Dining room Suite, all six chairs were covered with her work.  For at least 8 years she laboured over the chair covers.  As each one was finished it was put on the chair and then covered with clear vinyl.  Once the last chair, the big one, the arm-chair, was done; we celebrated with a ceremony to remove the vinyl on all of the chairs.  The chair coverings were done in browns and teals, with exotic birds and flowers.  The patterns stand out well against the taupe background of the needlework and the dark oak wood of the chair.

The many floral pictures that she created from her charts hang on my walls and there are bits and pieces in my trunk as well.  I have used the charts that I have inherited to create patterns for knitting.  I have had to simplify them extensively but used them I did.  No waste.

Intended for the arms of a chair - two matching small project bags.  Built like miniature hat boxes - my mother would approve.

Intended for the arms of a chair – two matching small project bags. Built like miniature hat boxes – my mother would approve.

In my trunk is the needle point cover for a chair that was never quite finished.  My mother ran out of time.  The work has languished in my trunk for over 20 years.  But it is now emerging again, with the help of a talented friend!

Two beautiful project bags, uniquely shaped, very much like small hat boxes, one for me and one for Beth.  My mother would approve.

Many thanks to Fiona of Pip’n’Milly Creations for taking my Mother’s work and making it useful and visible again.  No waste.

Side view of "hat box"  - large middle zipper, easy to open and fill.

Side view of “hat box” – large middle zipper, easy to open and fill.

As my mother’s eyesight changed with age she was no longer able to do her needlework, but she did rediscover knitting.  She had knit for us when we were very small, but gave it up for the needlework.

We shared many hours in the last months of her life talking about knitting, the next project or the types of yarns that we both liked – I guess that I got my love of beautiful fibres from her.

Like many Mothers and Daughters my mother and I had a complicated relationship, but the many loves we shared kept us talking and together.  My mother loved Christmas – it was her favorite time of the year.  Every year I miss her most at Christmas.

Merry Christmas Mum!

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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5 Responses to My Mother’s Hands

  1. Traci says:

    It’s amazing the memories you can pass down with handicrafts. I have two quilts that my grandmother made me, and I cherish them because I remember her gathered around her quilting frame with 7 sisters.

  2. Ria Gibson says:

    At times when I am knitting, it is as if my Mother is sitting beside me knitting as well. Our knitting tension was identical so Mother would knit the sleeves of a cardigan and I the fronts and back. She then would “finish” the sweater beautifully. The first time I had to complete a sweater on my own was very emotional. I do miss “sharing” my projects with my mother.

  3. Pingback: Flowers and Obsession | Le Tissier Designs

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