Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Handmade with love

A couple of blogs I've been reading lately (namely Soulemama and The Antidote) got me thinking about some of the beautiful, and enduring, items that we have thanks to the handiwork of family members. I'm sure if I dig through the family albums next time I'm at my parents I could find loads of great pictures, but for now here are just a few examples.
The first pic is my original 'grandma' blanket. I've made a couple of my own in recent years, but this one has been around throughout my childhood and even earlier, as it was made by my great grandmother, probably long before I was born. Well made at that, as it's still in great condition after years of keeping her grandchildren and great grandchildren warm, as well as being used as a cape, tent roof etc.
The second pic is my beloved Kitty, my mum's handiwork. This is one of the originals, although you can now get the kit to make one through the recently relaunched Clothkits- I've already made P the Kit doll and need to finish off the rest of Kit's wardrobe sometime soon. I saved for what seemed like months to get Kitty, then dashed downstairs every morning to see how far my mum had got with making her. I still have all her clothes and despite literally years of playing with her (accompanied by BF Kate and Kitty Brown) she is in pretty good nick, apart from her poor, worn through hands and the bias-binding evidence of an operation carried out by surgeon Mum to reattach her arm...
Finally, just a couple of the items P is lucky enough to have had made for him. Along with lots of other things including knitted clothes, some fantastic dungarees and a giant beanbag to sleep on during daytime naps, he also has these two gems. The work of his two grandmothers, who incidentally collaborated on the beanbag, they are far superior to anything shop bought. The patchwork is my mum's, responding to the seaside theme I wanted for our then unborn child's nursery, the intricate knitting is my mother-in-laws and won a prize at the Great Eccleston show! Despite our little boy's aversion to being covered up, through stealthy application of one or the other after he has fallen asleep these blankets have already kept him cosy on many a night and no doubt will continue to do so for years to come, one way or another.
There's definitely something about a handmade item, particularly when it's been handmade with a particular recipient in mind that is more than the sum of its materials- something enduring and very special.


  1. Ha ha, finally I get it to work ... I wrote a long comment this morning when reading this post and dressing Kiki ... the next generation of Mum made dolls ... Hi Kitty ... my kitty is sitting on the couch overseeing the mess!!!

    Loving the posts ... xx

  2. OOoooooh! I am so pleased you are enjoying your visits to The Antidote. This is such an amazing coincidence, I have just been looking for a little Christmas shopping inspiration, and was browsing the V&A online gift shop. I was amazed to see Clothkit dolls there. Now this may not seem very amazing, but when I was about 5 or 6 my grandmother took me to the V&A and bought me one of these dolls. Years later they are still there. Then I found that in your post you mentioned the very same Clothkit doll.
    How bizarre?
    Love your blog x