baker's doz: vavó's birthday shawl

vavó's anteros
my vavó is awesome. she taught me how to knit the scandinavian way, always made me eat a bowl of soup as big as my body when she would babysit me and would without fail tell me i was going to have nightmares every time she'd catch me watching MTV. we don't speak the same language, but we have always managed to be able to communicate about food ("comer mais!") and making things by hand. when i was probably 15 she brought me into her room and spread all the styles of doilies she could make out on her bed and asked which style i wanted for my wedding gift someday. it was a funny exchange of gestures, pointing out details, nodding and smiling. when she finished crocheting them maybe a year later, she pulled me into her room again, opened a little box lined with tissue paper and showed them to me. she told me she would keep them safe until my wedding, then wrapped them up and put them away to wait. how cool is that? when i got engaged she was so excited she brought them out immediately, the look on her face was just as amazing as the doilies. those doilies are at the tip top of the 'what will i save if my house is on fire?' list. even if i'm not using them i know exactly where they are at all times, just in case.

since i've started making things that i can actually wear she has totally noticed. now whenever i visit she asks me if i've made what i'm wearing. it's really cool, she and my aunt connie both investigate whatever garment it is and talk to each other in portuguese while pointing at seams or turning it over in their hands. it's really funny, the things i have in common with the older people in my family are generally considered lost arts. i think it might be kind of novel to them when people of my generation are interested in making things by hand because it seems like not many people do anymore. i think it's cool because it's like i have something in common with them that other people don't get, like a secret club.

well, this year my vavó is turning 100 years old. it blows my mind, it is just beyond rad. she remembers the first time she saw a car, and the hindenburg used to use the islands my family is from as a checkpoint when flying/floating over the atlantic. they had no idea what it was and she remembers that. is that not insane? so, for her 100th birthday, one of her youngest grandkids is giving her a lace shawl in her favorite color made the old fashioned way. we may not be able to use words to talk about it, but she'll know exactly what it's all about. i'm sure there will be a few gestures, pointing out of details, nods and smiles. i really can't wait to give it to her, i hope she likes it!
vavó's anteros
vavó's anteros
here's a pic of it being all shawl-like. i don't wear them this way but maybe she will, she is 99, she can do whatever she damn well pleases right?

anteros shawl by mari chiba
madelinetosh pashmina - windowpane


  1. This story makes me smile too. Vavó is just the best.

    Funny you mention the Hindenburg ... One day I was with her at Colt State Park and the Hood blimp was floating around and she started telling me about seeing a blimp when she was a kid and no one knew what it was and all the adults were freaking out that it was the end of the world. Of course, she told me very calmly and laughed about it, in true Vavó fashion.