What's in a Name - Mabel & Ivy

Posted on March 13, 2015 by Rachel Owen | O Comments

This Sunday is Mothering Sunday here in the UK and it's got me thinking about my childhood and in particular my grandmothers whom my own-label yarn Mabel & Ivy is named after. I thought I'd share with you a little about them as it's these two remarkable women alongside my mum who have helped shape me into the woman I now am, they encouraged me and taught me so much.

My maternal grandmother was called Mabel, she was a exceptional woman who not only raised a large family of nine children but also helped run the family business alongside my grandfather Albert; a greengrocers shop in Stockport.

In her spare time she would sew matching outfits for my mum and aunties as well as knitting sweaters and balaclavas for my uncles. I spent a great deal of time with her in my teenage years; she's the real reason I started my own business as she was a wonderful role model and always encouraged me to aim high.

my grandma Mabel, granddad Albert, my mum, auntie and uncle.

Ivy was my paternal grandmother she was a tiny wee thing, who started working in the hat mills in Stockport at the early age of thirteen.  It was Nana Ivy who taught me to knit when I was eight years old. She was so patient with me; endlessly casting on when I made a mistake of which there were many! Her knitting went everywhere with her, I don't ever remember seeing her without it and hearing the clicking of her needles.


my nana Ivy and me! | nana Ivy clicking away!

I would knit endless squares in rainbow colours of left over acrylic yarn, with no real purpose except the joy of seeing something grow in my own hands. My mum also loved to knit so she picked up where my nana had left off; between them I learnt the very basics stitches of knit and purl, to cast on and cast off!  I'm sorry to say like so many I did leave my knitting behind once I'd hit the teenage years. Although I rediscovered my love for it again in my late teens; I sadly lost my mum to cancer and it was at this time I sought comfort in knitting, it became a real life saver!

I would love to hear your knitting memories; who taught you or did you teach yourself? 


About the Author

Rachel Owen is the owner of Tangled Yarn. As a mother to two teenagers life is never dull! When she's not knitting can be found wandering the Pennines with her faithful cocker spaniel Bailee. Her favourite colour is blue or is it green? And she could sink a ship with the amount of tea she drinks!

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