Once Upon a Sweater… (Happy Mothers Day.)

Once upon a time… there was an artist.

When she was young she tap danced, played piano and painted beautiful flowers using oil paint.  But the era was a lean one, and she grew up learning to be a practical, sensible sort of artist.

So her art was poured into useful objects:  dazzling quilts, meticulous embroidered pillowcases, perfectly even needlepoint upholstery,  spinning, a rainbow of hand dyed yarn, soft, hand woven blankets, and beautifully knit hats, scarves, mittens, socks and sweaters for all the fortunate members of her family.  Everything she created was out of her own imagination, and it all was beautiful.

She passed down a love of these beautifully designed and lovingly made pieces of everyday art to me, her daughter… and that is where Tartooful really began.

Sadly, like all of us, she got older… and her hands didn’t work for her the way they used to.  She couldn’t make objects that sang anymore, so the joy of creation was replaced with frustration.  She had a sweater, all hand spun and knit from wool that had arrived in her home as a grubby fleece.  It was almost finished, but without a pattern, not just anybody could complete the last rows.  Before she passed away she gave it onto a close friend, Audrey, another practical artist who always planned to finish the lovely piece.  But years passed, and eventually Audrey’s talented hands decided it was time to rest, too.  She in turn passed it on to another friend, Jan.  Jan understood that this was a special sweater, and found a way of making it even more so.  She couldn’t finish it the way it was started, so she searched for, and found someone to finally complete the sweater.

Then, when it was finished and perfect… she brought it to me, and gave it to me as a extraordinary Mothers Day gift across the years from my Mother.


The heartwarming story might have ended there… but there is just a little more to tell.  Shortly after receiving this amazing gift I wore it to Tartooful, and shared the story with the Trollies in the shop that day.  One of them, a beloved member of the Tartooful family named Nadine, was listening.  She decided to give me another special Mother’s Day gift… a tiny, precious reminder of the story of the sweater that I could wear everyday.

I’m humbled by the love that went into these two gifts.   They are an astonishing, beautiful reminder of our friendships that become family, and I’m truly grateful…. Thank you from the heart.

Happy Mothers Day…


5 thoughts on “Once Upon a Sweater… (Happy Mothers Day.)

  1. What a beautiful story…a true story.. that reminds us all what treasures
    we have in family and friends!! Thank you and Happy Mothers Day !!

  2. Awwww…. Beautifully told, beautiful photos. The love that you shared with your mom touches my heart and your “Sweater Story” always brings tears to my eyes! Your Mom lives on in spirit and in so many fond memories. There is nothing more special than the love between a mother and daughter! Thanks for sharing,Cathy!
    Happy Mother’s Day to all, in our family of Trollies….. XO

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