I had a wonderful reminder recently of the importance of making handmade memories and how powerful they can truly be. My Omi, who is an avid knitter, loved to make Cowichan Sweaters, vests etc. We all had them when I was growing up - my parents, my Omi and Opa, my sisters and I, you name it - we wore it.
My Omi sadly now suffers from dementia & it's been really hard for our family this past year or so. I was so blessed to grow up my whole life in the same town as both sets of grandparents. It's something I'm extremely thankful for to this day. She played a huge role in my life in developing a love for handmade. After going through some rough times with her health I'm happy to say she's finally gotten back into her knitting. It does my heart good to see pictures of her working on a blanket and enjoying a hobby that she loved so much again.
Recently my parents were in town visiting for a few weeks. While they were here we went through some of my Nana's family pictures. In them I stumbled across a picture of my mom, myself, my 2 sisters and my Papa. In the photo my Mom is wearing her Cowichan Sweater (and me and my sis are decked out in hand knits and yes, that is a handknit cookie monster hat I'm rocking!). I told my Mom I loved this pic and asked about her sweater. She said that my Dad and her don't wear them anymore and would I want them? Ummmm...let me think for a sec....HECK YEAH!
So a few weeks later a parcel arrived at my door. In it were 4 handknit items - a Cowichan Sweater & a vest in both my size and my hubbies size! I felt like I won the jackpot. I can't even put into words how special it feels to put on something my Omi knit with love, and my Mom wore while I was growing up. It's like being wrapped in a blanket of love. I will treasure them always.
There is something so powerful about the gift of handmade. I swear each of those stitches has a memory in it. And now, when I wear them, I think of my Omi, and all my memories of her, and I remember them for her, for she can no longer. I've realized just how precious they are.
I only hope one day my girls will wear them one day with their families and continue to pass down the memories and more importantly - the love.
Do you have any special handmade items that you treasure? Have you made a Cowichan sweater before? I'd love to hear about any memories you have. Coffee's on....come chat!