About Me ColorJoy Home Page Free Stuff About Me Contact Me
ColorJoy Home Page
ColorJoy Home The ColorJoy Blog Buy Patterns, Recipe Books, CDs Patterns Schedule & Potential Classes Recipes & Food Information The LynnH SockTour LynnH Polymer Clay The Fabulous Heftones - Lynn & Brian

Archive for July 6th, 2003

Strong Family Women

Sunday, July 6th, 2003

blanket knit by Ingeborg Sperstad Sampson in the 1960s for LynnHI’ve been contemplating my Great, Great Aunt Ingeborg lately. She’s the only relative I remember who knit, at least for me. She learned to knit in Norway, where she was born and raised. I believe she came to the USA when she was about 16, if I remember the story correctly. She always had a strong dialect, but we learned to understand her even as kids.

Ingeborg made a living as a baker for a Catholic hospital in Flint, Michigan. She was the only relative we had in Michigan, so she functioned a little bit as a third Grandmother (my “real” grandmothers lived in Minnesota while I was growing up).

I remember once we went to Ingeborg’s house for a holiday, perhaps Easter, and she had made apple dumplings. I was sure I would not like apple dumplings (we often had the dumplings that float on stew and I must have thought these the same). I was adamant I didn’t like it. My mother was mortified, as I was supposed to be a good grrrl (especially after Ingeborg had cooked all day for us) yet I often was not.

Mom finally insisted that I must at least taste the dumpling. And then I found I had been so wrong…. I LOVED apple dumplings. Hers were cored apples covered in pie crust and baked in the oven, with a cinnamon sauce. Now I always think of Ingeborg when I think apple dumplings. And I think of her when I see doilies on furniture, because she had them on her favorite rocking chair, the kind with arms carved to look like goose heads/necks. Now I realize she made those doilies. I wonder if they were knit or crocheted, I’ll never know.

blanket sleeper for doll, created and sewn by Elizabeth Bakken Troldahl in late 1960s for LynnHThis weekend I found a box of old toys from my childhood. It was not a particularly large box, but I found the one doll blanket I had remembered that Ingeborg knit for me. It was actually in pretty good repair (moths got one crocheted edge long ago but that looks repairable, see photo).

I also found a half dozen other handcrafted, knit or crocheted items in that one box. Funny how I tossed many things but not the handmade stuff. Even though my mother reallyreallyreally disliked wool (I’ve been busy convincing her to like superwash wool lately). Somehow I knew that handcrafted items were precious, wool or not. I will need to see if Mom can remember where the other knit/crocheted items came from. One baby cap (I used it for a doll) has a sewn in tag saying the first and last names of the woman who knit it, and I don’t recognize that name at all. It should be interesting to find out if I can find out the histories of more of the items.

I have to also show you the blanket sleeper I found, sized for my favorite doll. My mother made this, I assume freehand without a pattern, to somewhat echo my own blanket sleeper at the time.
Detail of doll blanket sleeper by Elizabeth Bakken Troldahl, created late 1960s for LynnHMine had a logo with a clown face on it, so Mom used the sewing machine freehand to embroider a clown face on the doll’s sleeper as well. Adorable. I had forgotten about this precious thing.

I’m so glad the moths did not find this box while I had forgotten it. The sleeper is in such good shape you would never know it was over 30 years old. You can see that Ingeborg’s blanket needs washing, but I dare not do that until I repair the crocheted edge. I’m delighted my precious items are still in decent shape.

Strong women in our lives, they are the stuff of stories. Stories worth telling.