Wisconsin Knitter turns 100 on 1/11/11

It may be heresy in knitting circles to say this, but Elizabeth Zimmerman is not my favorite knitter from Wisconsin. My favorite Wisconsin knitter is my Grandma Frances. Actually, since my mother is also from Wisconsin and a knitter, my favorite Wisconsin knitter born before 1937 is my Grandma Frances, my mom’s mom. She was born on January 11, 1911. Only 1 in 4400 people in the US live to be 1o0. She’s a grand lady, so on January 11, 2011, she invited all of us to Sheboygan, Wisconsin to celebrate her centenial. Her local newspaper The Sheboygan Press did a very nice article about her party, and they even quoted me (M and I came the farthest distance to attend).
My brother, Thomas, took this picture of Grandma Frances and me over the holidays, so she’s not 100 in this photo but merely 99 years, 50 weeks.

Grandma Frances and me 122810

At her party, she had no trouble blowing out the candles on her cake. My Aunt Ann is on the left, and my grandmother’s friends, Fr. Mike and Gracie are also in the photo.

Grandma Frances and cake

My mom and dad gave her a box of 100 chocolates (several layers) from Oaks Chocolates, a favorite of Grandma’s. They were so excited at Oaks to make a 100-piece box of chocolate for a 100th birthday, that they spelled out 100 in “oysters” (balls of soft vanilla cream enrobed in chocolate and rolled in crushed peanuts).

Box of 100 chocolates

When I was young, Grandma Frances often knit me a sweater as a Christmas gift. I still have the last sweater she knit, which is from the early 80s when I was in high school. It doesn’t fit anymore, but it still is beautiful.
Red Cardi in rocker
Red Cardi from Grandma Frances
All her sweaters came with her label neatly sewn inside.
Label for Grandma Frances
Up the center back of the sweater is this lovely cable and lace panel:
Back panel detail: red cardi
When I started to knit 10 years ago, she gave me the book this pattern is from:
Neat Knitting Projects
I hope to knit it myself someday. I’ll probably make a chart for the lace and cable panels. It’s knit in sportweight yarn and a mass amount rather than yardage is given, so I’ll also buy a lot of yarn to be sure. My version won’t have all a grandma’s love knit into it, but I’ll be able to button it over my now larger body (I was bust-free until my 20s).

Thanks, Grandma, for all the love and sweaters, mittens and scarves! Oh, and the genes aren’t half bad either.

14 thoughts on “Wisconsin Knitter turns 100 on 1/11/11”

  • What a wonderful post – Happy Birthday to your Grandma Frances!

    I think it’s amazing, but not at all surprising, that you have such a rich knitting legacy. I love that your grandma knit you a beautiful sweater with meticulous attention to all the finishing details.

    Congratulations on the good genes!

  • WOW!!! Congrats to your grandma for reaching such a milestone!!!! What a gorgeous sweater too. She did fabulous work! And it’s fantastic to see her so active. Makes living to 100 so much more achievable and enjoyable!!!

  • Congratulation to your grandmother – she looks way younger than 100, wow! (And the sweater is gorgeous as well!)

  • I love the sweater your grandmother made you – lucky girl! Even if *it* has shrunk over the years. šŸ™‚

    Happy Birthday to your Grandma!! (a little late).

  • How wonderful! What a fine tribute to your dear Grandma! My own Grandmother celebrated her 100th birthday in June, 2009. It is such a rare thing to be able to celebrate a centennial birthday — what a treat for all of you!

  • How wonderful that you were able to be there for such a special celebration for your grandmother! I also have another favorite knitter from Wisconsin, my mom. I think E. Zimmerman would understand, though. šŸ˜‰ The sweater your grandmother made is gorgeous! What a talented knitter.

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