Many of us who knit are carrying on a tradition handed down to us by our forebears. I did not know either of my grandmothers – one passed away when I was very young and the other lived too far away. What I do have, however, is a little booklet of poems which my father’s mother wrote and had privately printed. She titled this collection Late Flowers. She wrote the poems in 1939-1944 when she was a member of a Poetry Club in Orlando Florida. Born in 1862, she would have been in her 80’s when she had these poems printed. In the front of the booklet is a picture of my grandmother wearing her Red Cross uniform. This is a woman whose life spanned two World Wars. I’m sure my grandmother wore that uniform with pride. It was not the uniform worn by the Red Cross Angels of Mercy in hospitals and battlefields. Rather, the uniform she is wearing in the picture only indicates that the wearer has worked one hundred hours or more in Red Cross workrooms sewing and knitting. While I do not knit for charity as my grandmother did, I still feel she has handed down to me a love of handwork and I am proud that she served her country in the way that she did. This was a tradition followed by many American women during both the First and Second World Wars.
This little booklet has been sitting beside my computer waiting for a blog entry but it was in reading Franklin’s recent blog about his family history that I have finally been sparked to actually write the blog about my grandmother