Sometimes the circle of life can be sad and scary. My dad’s parents have had declining faculties and abilities for a while now, and were recently moved into a care facility. My dad and his sisters have had to clean out my grandparents’ home. However, there are silver linings to all things. I have been to visit my grandparents in their facility and was happy to find them safe and cared for with a friendly, attentive staff. Another silver lining is that some junk from my grandparents’ home has turned into treasures by being passed to family members. I treasure this pink sweater.
This sweater was hand knit and has a tag that reads “Fashioned by Belva Runyan.” Belva Runyan was my grandmother’s mother. I don’t know when she knit the sweater, but it was pre-1980 as she was no longer able to knit in the last years of her life. I am thrilled to have it and care for it and treasure it. With each wearing, each glance of it in my wardrobe, I think of my grandmother and her mother and their female ancestors – strong women who gave me my height, (part of) my stubborness, and my love of knitting.
Unfortunately, the sweater was not in good shape when it arrived. It was musty and covered in moth holes. I spent an evening gently hand washing it and laying it out to dry. I spent many nights carefully darning moth holes with a skein of almost-matching vintage yarn I had in my stash. But every moment spent caring for the sweater was a moment I spent thinking of my female forbearers, remembering them, honoring them, and honoring their work. The icing on the cake is that I genuinely like the sweater and am exciting to have it in my wardrobe! (Worn here with my grey wool Thurlow shorts. Yes, this is California winter wear.)