Chances are, if you grew up Portuguese-Canadian, you know what these are:
Chances are even better that you had them on your couches, on top of your tables and across the foot of your beds. Even plumped up as pillows on the armchair in front of the television, and hemmed onto the edges of tee shirts and skirts by your grandmother when you happened to leave laundry at her house.
In Portuguese, it’s called renda (I won’t try to pronounce it for you, that requires some hacking and I have a mild cold), and when I was a kid, not only did my father’s mother teach me how to do it, but I hated it.
It was fussy, the little needle left a permanent hard patch on my left index finger, and all the boys got to go play on the street.
It took me until my mid-twenties to appreciate it – and even then, I only appreciated from afar. But then my sister, trend setter that she is, decided she wanted a bedspread made of my grandmother’s handiwork. And so my other sister said she wanted the same – in purple though. And I just couldn’t get the thought out of my head … so I asked my grandmother to make me one too … with cool stripes … and yellow and ivory and grey colours.
She made this:
And it clicked in The beauty of it – the way the raised edges of each colour began, and the way it wwas woven seemlessly together in a chevrone lined pattern, just for me. It worked in my room just like I thought it would! It was perfect.
So this blog post is just an excuse to gush at the awsomeness that is my grandmother, and how she worked so hard for me to give me something so meaningful. Better than jewels, this is – especially on a cold Toronto winter night.
And guess what? I appreciate it so much, I started one of my own … but there are no pictures of that … I will spare my dear readers that, at least …