Monday, February 22, 2010

The Crochet Hook and Nana’s Hands

Some of my fondest memories are of my grandma Celestina, crocheting her beautiful treasures. Many of which I own today and cherish. I called her Nana and I know I will never have another treasure created by her again. She designed the most wonderful home accent doilies, warm cuddly throws, slippers that everyone wanted and loved and even kitchen hand towels we soon learned we could not function without. You know the old styles with crocheted tops that accented the trendy terrycloth bottoms. Most of these pretties have long worn away with loving use over the years. I did keep the last pair of slippers she made for me and have never worn. I just don’t want them to wear out, for I will never have another.

Her crochet hooks and knitting needles have long been silent, but the vision of her, working her magic with yarn, lives on. Her hands moved with such grace and ease. Hands that suffered with a trace of gout and an index finger that adorned a slight bump. It never slowed her down. Her actions were to keep going. She said it was “good therapy” to work hard and stay creative. I was always so impressed with her abilities. Everything she did was amazing. From cooking to her garden, she did it all. When she was crocheting, she could look up, talk and keep working like we sometimes do on the computer. I think if she had learned the computer in her time, she would have been remarkable with the things she could do. Nana was a very quick study with everything she attempted to learn.

I was always interested in her latest creations. She taught me to do some simple knitting when I was about 7 and I remember knitting for days till I had a very long piece. Too big for a scarf, but just right to throw on one’s lap. She thought I did so well, she kept it for a lap throw. I was so thrilled she wanted it for her own. After all, she was the expert. Could I even come close to her wisdom and ways? She instilled in me confidence and passion for the arts that later in years would serve me well in school. She passed on her cheerfulness, giving spirit, helpfulness and love of life!

As the years went by, she would show me how to crochet and I enjoyed our time together as she taught. She was a wonderful teacher.
I remember a time when she was staying with our family to recoup from a gall bladder surgery. This procedure was more complicated many years ago and recuperation time was about 6 weeks. I was so excited for Nana to come stay with us while grandpa worked. This meant we could pal up and create. Well, at first she had to rest, but once she was feeling better she taught me to embroider. Oh how I loved our time together. We would talk, pray and she would tell me stories from the “old country“ as she referred to her home land of Naples, Italy. I will treasure those days forever.

Now I own those crochet hooks and although they will never move like she made them do, I love to gaze upon them on my sewing table and remember. Those shining needles sit in a cup along with other sewing tools handed down from her and my mother. Thin silver needles that she used to make gorgeous lace doilies and edging. Larger colorful hooks that were used to create those warm cozy throws. And knitting needles that she used to design the best pair of slippers you could ever slip on your tootsies. Oh how I miss her, but thank God for memories in one’s mind. They give comfort when you need it and warm security when in doubt.

The crochet hook will always be a useful tool and for me a lovely reminder of her life well spent, the closeness of her spirit to our Lord, hours in prayers for others and the happy heart when she worked with her loving hands.
I see her smile always in my mind and so thankful for the “Crochet Hook and Nana’s Hands.”

Blessings and Blue Skies
Celestina Marie
The remodel is nearly finished, just waiting for the shower glass to be installed and then I'll have more pictures to share in that story. Hugs!


Anonymous said...

Such wonderful memories you have of Your Nana.

That is what my grandkids call me. I hope mine have such fond memories of me when they grow up.

I did not get a chance to really know either of my Grandparents and that I really miss.

I guess that is why I want my grandkids to know me and have some good memories. Thank you for sharing yours.


Debbie-Dabble Blog and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

This was such a warm, heart felt posting! It brought tears to my eyes. How lucky you are to have such wonderful memories! I grew up without grand parents and always feel like I missed out on so much! I envy you! You were so lucky!

Gone said...

What a lovely story!!

My great-grandmother and aunt attempted to teach me to crochet and about 5 years of age. Great-grandmother died when I was 7...and auntie when I was 8. So...needless to say, I don't remember much of what they taught me. that I'm learning to crochet I do remember one thing grandma always said......

You crochet too tight honey!!

Guess what? I still do!! In order to get the gauge right on the afghan I'm doing, I had to bump up from a G to an I!!! But, it feels right to an I it is!!!

My friend Kim...from Irish Rose Creations (Etsy shop)...has agreed to make another afghan for me!! It's way to difficult for me for my first...probably even for my 10th!!! Her prices are super reasonable and she crochets beautifully!

Bath remodel looks good, from what I saw below.

~Blessings my friend...

Julie Marie said...

Oh Celeste, I am so teary eyed reading this, but happy tears... you know how I feel about traditions and ancestors... how precious your Nana was (is)... I always refer to relatives who have passed on in the present tense... for they are still always at our side... and how beautiful that you were named after her! Your words speak so much of the love you have for your Nana, and all of the beautiful things she created... I am so happy you have them and her collections of crochet hooks... they are priceless and so are your happy memories... xoxo Julie Marie

Diva Kreszl said...

you so captured why I love collecting vintage linens, those that have tatted edges and hand embroidery, they have such a story to tell!

Anonymous said...

My Dear Friend.... Your story about your Grandmother reminds me of my Grandmother & My Mom. They both loved to do needlework, especially crochet. I have all of their work which is quite a bit.
Now I crochet.... I love it & there is not a time when I put hook to thread I don't think of them.

LuLu Kellogg said...

What a sweet and lovely posting that was a tribute to your Nana. I had tears in my eyes along with a smile whilst reading.


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post. How inspiring so many can be in our lives & pass on the knowledge to those of us willing learn. I love it. I've always had a passion for crocheted trim. So vintage and homey. Have a great day C. Hugs. T

Deb said...

I bet your Nana and my Nana are sitting together in heaven...yours crocheting and knitting...mine quilting and sewing...smiling down on us...

Unknown said...

Celeste, this is one of the most touching posts I have ever ready!! What beautiful memories with an ever lasting gift. Everything is so beautiful and everything you were able to keep is just beautiful. I am so happy you have these things and appreciate them. So many people just discard things. I have so many wonderful memories with my grandma and that bond and relationship is so special. Beautifully written too Celeste, you are a talented writer!!
Love and hugs and I cant wait to see the finished remodel!!

Ginny said...

Such a beautiful story about your Nana! I hope my grandchildren will remember me with such affection! What a lost craft it is anymore, the crochet, tatting, and embroidery. Little by little you see less of these wonderful talents. I find myself scouring the consignment and antique shops for more of these precious items. I just found a couple of really pretty doilies a few weeks ago at a thrift store for pennies. They are so pretty!
Great post, Celestine!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

A very sweet post...good memories for me, too. My grandmother always had a quilt going and crochet projects. She worked on several things at a time and I am blessed to have some of her books and a quilt. She is always close to me. Have a good evening, sweet friend! ♥

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Celestina Marie,

I loved hearing the precious memories you have of your lovely Nana.
What a beautiful Lady she must have been and isn't it great that she was able to pass on her skills to you.
Sounds a lot like my Mother, she always had knitting and crocheting on the go. She could never sit without making peggy squares for a quilt or knitting a jersey and she used to make slippers for all the family.
Thanks for sharing this lovely post.


Glenda said...

great story, I had an Aunty Vi who taught me how to crochet and how to do lots of crafts, so was my life saver growing up and I still have the things she gave me like, hooks and some pattern books. My MUm could knit but never found the time to show me,.love from Glenda,. PS I miss my Aunty Vi so much,.

Diva Kreszl said...

thanks for stopping by to visit and taking the time to leave your lovely comment! please don't even tell me that snow will be heading to the northeast...we're still trying to thaw out here!

Unknown said...

G'eve Celeste ~ What a tender heart warming write of your Nana ... & the love & times you spent with one another. How fortunate you are to have shared such precious moments with her, learning with her gentle tutoring.

I treasure also my Mother's needlework, crocheting & embroidery that I have inherited. Mother had no success at teaching me her talents ... but each piece means the world to me.

A wee bit maudlin reading your write ...

Anxious to see the remodeled bathroom, I know that it will knock our socks off!

Hugs, Marydon

Shirley said...

Your post today brought back memories of the beautiful crochet and knitted pieces that I have. For example the crochet hankerchief that my mother made me when I got married, I like you have the crochet hooks and knitting needles that have been handed down from generation to generation. My mother, mother-in-law, and aunt taught me what I know about both. My passion is for the embroidery work.

Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

Wht a beautiful tribute to your Nana. I could almost hear the crochet hooks clicking. How wonderful that you have so many of her pieces of art. laurie

vickie said...

Beautiful post today, Celeste. You have a wonderful talent for writing in addition to your art. This describes my Mother, aren't we blessed to have such wonderful memories and pieces of their work.

Bearly Sane said...

Well don't you know how to make my eyes all teary ... lovely story Celestina and a wonderful tribute to your Nana.

Sorry I haven't been by in a little while, things have kinda been a bit hectic around here of late ... a tad more than usual. And although I hate to admit it, I cannot do everything or be in two places at one time (though hubby seems to think I can LOL!).

I hope you are having an enjoyable week.
Warmest hugs,
Sandi @ Bearly Sane

Betzie said...

Thanks for sharing those sweet memories of your dear nana Celeste!
Such a beautiful post and I'm sure she was smiling when she read it too. I had a close relationship with both of my grandmothers as well...they both taught me so much and the best thing of all was just knowing how much they loved me. That love never dies for sure...and their memories are better than any precious jewels.
I love how you display the crochet hooks and haven't worn her last pair of slippers for so sweet! xoxoxo Betzie

Tina said...

What a lovely tribute to your Nana...Isn't it wonderful to have things that were given to you from them and then to be able to replay memoriesof those things in their very lives...amazing..

embellishments by tina

chicroses said...

Oh how I relate to your memories of your mother was accomplished crocheter. I have all her crochet hooks and lots of doilies,xmas trees,snowman,baskets,cookie house.Even baby layet.I should get her needles out put in my craft room. So enjoyed your post.You should put a pic up of your Nana..hugs Sally

Anonymous said...

Oh, the sweetest story about your precious Nana! How blessed you are to have all of the wonderful memories of her and the time you got to spend with her. My grandmother crocheted too making the same items yours did. I don't know where my grandmother's crochet hooks ended up. Wish I had them. I crochet and she would have loved to know I took up her craft - none of her daughters did.
I just loved this post and I thank you for popping in to see me. Always love your visits.
be a sweetie,
shelia ;)

Ruth Welter said...

Gorgeous lace designs wonderful that you have such loving memories of your grandmother too.


Unknown said...

Hey there Sweetie!
Oh you brought back so many sweet memories! My grams to showed me at a later age how to crochet. She never used patterns, it was all in her head. I have many doilies she has made and slipper, broom stitched afghan and even a very special poncho made in the 70's that I still wear. Now she is 95 and crocheting hats and blankets for the babies at hospitals in her area!

I was wondering what you both had been up to and I see great things happening. I am too am like you..I see my re-do's in my head before they are done! guys got snow and I couldn't believe it cause I think we didn't have much at the time...but our time finally came and we probably have over a foot of snow now...where is spring? I am sooo looking forward to it!

Have a blessed week!
Hugs..Lorena said...

Beautiful post Celeste! Grandmothers hold such precious memories and you are blessed to have those as well as her 'tools' to treasure! Rachaelxo

Anonymous said...

Celeste, what beautiful memories! I can still remember my grandmother's fingers flying with a needle and thread and her feet going a mile a minute on her treadle sewing machine. Sadly, I lost her when I was just turned 5 years old but my memories are precious to me, like none others. She made the best chicken soup imaginable, sat on her porch steps with me and shucked sweet peas, took me into the chicken coop and taught me how to gather eggs still warm from the hens...

Grandmothers are a blessing.

Love, Diane

Edie Marie's Attic said...


Just wanted to stop by & wish you a happy day! We celebrated Chris' birthday last night and had a wonderful dinner here at our house with Mardi Gras King Cake for dessert. I think she enjoyed the evening.
I really love the story of your Nana and her crocheting. I learned from my grandma Meme. I have one afghan that she knitted and I treasure it. Meme taught me so many things. We were blessed to have such wonderful roll models!!

Love & hugs, Sherry

special hugs to Larry & Miss Beazy

A Hint of Home said...

Those are precious memories! So glad you had such a loving, wonderful grandma.
She sounds like a very talented lady.
How's the bathroom coming? It's probably finished by now.
I find it hard to blog at times with many other things going on in life. So many people have needs. We have been busy with a few like that. Some have had surgeries and an elderly couple at church need a lot of care. My husband has been more busy with them than me. Their son is coming from MI today to see about moving them or assistant living arrangements.
I hope we will stay healthy as we age but sometimes that is not a choice we get to make.
Hope you are warming up a bit out there.
Have a good week!

Twyla and Lindsey said...

I am so glad I discovered this wonderful post you did. It brought tears to my eyes as I read about your precious grandmother. Her crochet hooks are just beautiful and what a wonderful keepsake to remember her by. It is so wonderful that you have these memories of her and the special times that you shared. It makes me sad to think that a lot of children never have such memories. I am an avid crocheter and knitter and loved this heartfelt post. Thank you. Twyla

Unknown said...

Celeste, the picture of Mizz Beazy looks darling on your blog!! I am so glad you like it :) She is the perfect model!!
THANK YOU for your encouragement and support. I love you to pieces and your friendship is one of my biggest blessings!!

Unknown said...

What a lovely post about your nana. My Grandmother crocheted also, and I have fond memories of watching her create lovely things.

As it is getting closer to Spring, I thought I wonder what Celeste is creating. So here I am to say hello, and I hope you have a lovely day.

Anonymous said...

Come on over to my blog...I'm havin' a 2 part Spring Giveaway!!

Anonymous said...

Your Nana was the sweetest, kindest, nicest person I have every had the pleasure of knowing. She will always have a special place in my heart. She left a true and precious gift for all of us....her granddaughter.

Cindy@Cutepinkstuff said...

Celeste, I love this post. It's near and dear to my heart. My mom just turned 90 and she's still able to crochet even with severe arthritis. Like your Nana, my mom is an inspiration to us all. Thank you for stopping by to see my home office video. It's been too long since I've said hello, but I see you, too, have been busy with your remodels. Can't wait to see it all so you can be dust-free!

Angela said...

I have my Nana's hooks also and do the same as you..I love to gaze at them,,I even have some of her buttons that she had in her sewing box, some thread...they bring such beautiful memories. I LOVED her so much. I lived with her for quite some time as a small child when my mother was very sick, than when I was kicked out of the house at 17, my 75 year old Nana took me in and LOVED LOVED LOVED me...I'm getting all teary eyed now...sigh.

I bet the post you did about the house was very emotional for you to write dear sister...((hugs))

Miss Nifty Thrifty said...

What a wonderful and sweet memory of your Nana. It brought tears to my eyes that she made such a sweet impression in your life.

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Celestina Marie
Celestina Marie

Welcome To Rose Garden Market from Celestina Marie Design. It is so nice to meet you. My name is Celestina Marie named after my grandmother and my friends call me Celeste.My creative journey extends over 30 years enjoying the love of painting and redesigning vintage and new treasures. I love to go treasure hunting and the fun of finding great vintage pieces to redesign..