Givie: Crafting Memories
Hi I’m Givie the mother of this crafting partnership. Knitting and sewing are my forte. (Not a surprise if you’ve read Lane’s post.) My Mum was English who met and fell in love with, in her Mum’s words ‘a bloody foreigner’ or to be more accurate a Scotsman.
I can remember the flurry of actively that followed a parcel from English Gran – you see it would be full of material from the market in Cannock – material that was much nicer and more importantly cheaper than anything Mum could get. Out would come the treadle Singer sewing machine, and the game of shops would begin.
Shops? I hear you mutter. Well how do you keep four children safe and happy and organised? Particularly when you have 3 dresses of varying age appropriate styles but all in the same fabric and a pair of shorts (thankfully not in the same fabric because we were not the Von Trapp’s) to make? Easy. Shops.
We were all well aware of the rules of the game. All other games were played well away from the shop (the sewing machine) until the shopkeeper (Mum) opened the shop and we could go over and buy and sell until the shop had to close. The opening of the shop, with the hindsight of a mum, was whenever the natives were getting restless and the sewing had to take a back seat to the full-time job of bringing up the family.
The knitting of three matching cardigans for me and my sisters and a jumper for my brother would be done in the evenings. Not surprising that me and my sisters were all taught to knit from an early age. There was a failed attempt to teach my brother but that ended in tears before bedtime; can’t remember if it was Mum or brother who shed them. I started to make clothes for my dolls from the scraps and very quickly progressed to stitching on tiny press studs and hooks and eyes for fastenings. I progressed to making outfits for myself and still remember the pink denim bell-bottoms I embroidered flowers onto all up the side of both legs. Needless to say, when Lane came along she must have had the biggest wardrobe of handmade clothes ever.