Thursday, March 3, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday: Great Grandma Madsen's Knitting Basket

By now, I'm sure you've figured out that I'm more than a little obsessed with my family's history. My other mad obsession is knitting. I try to do it a little bit each day because it relaxes me (or, as I tell my co-workers, it keeps me from killing people...) and I've always enjoyed crafty endeavors. I didn't learn to knit from a family member. I ended up teaching myself because, as far as I knew, my mom and none of my older female relatives were knitters. Grandma Edith was a crocheter, but I'm just now teaching myself how to do that.

So, imagine my surprise a couple of years ago, when my Great Aunt Rae presented this wonderful gift to me:

Johanna Bruhns Madsen, 1886-1965
It was her mom's, my Great Grandma Johanna Bruhns Madsen, very own knitting basket! I DO have an ancestor who knitted. I never got to know Grandma Hannah because she passed away the year I was born, but I feel so much closer to her knowing that we share this skill. Aunt Rae said she was a pretty good knitter and seamstress but, sadly, we don't have any of the items that she had made in her lifetime. I like to think that some of her knitting prowess may have rubbed off on me. I hope she enjoyed knitting as much as I do!


  1. See, I do like this story :)

    In my family, my mom and her mom were crocheters (well, grandma knit, too) but I never saw either of them do it. I found both of their "materials" (hooks, small - extremely small based on my own stash - stash of yarn, project bag/box) after they were gone. My grandma's crochet hooks have prevented me from having to buy my own. Some of them are so worn from the teeny-tiny thread crocheting that I'm not even sure they're worth keeping but I will because they were hers.

  2. I love this story. I was excited to find a quilter in my family...I finally figured out where I got my love for it.

  3. Renee: so cool that you got your grandma's crochet hooks! I was never interested in crochet when my grandma was doing it, but I would so treasure those goodies now...

    Heather: I agree that it's exciting when you find an ancestor that shares your interests! Makes the connection even more complete.

    Aunt Rae also gifted me with a darning egg and some thimbles that were her mom's. I really need to use that darning egg on some of my handknit socks soon...

  4. How cool! It would be a neat heirloom anyway, but since you have such a love for knitting, it makes it all the more special that you have that connection with your great-grandma that you never met. :)
    I crochet (nothing fancy), but knitting looks so hard to me. I always feel like the yarn is going to come off the needles.

  5. Thanks, Jen. I just started learning to crochet have Granny Square Fever right now. Knitting is so much easier for me -- haha!! It's all what you're used to, I guess.