Monday, January 24, 2011

Frieda Katherine

Item ThumbnailJust like the littlest angel had a shoebox under his bed full of his favorite things; my great-grandmother, Frieda Katherine. had a box of her treasures too.  Her box contained her crocheting pieces.  Now, she had a work basket that held her knitting and mending, but in a cigar box she kept her crochet work as well as newspaper clippings with quilting patterns and crochet patterns.
The crochet thread is as thin as regular sewing thread.  Great-grandma made the prettiest pieces for clothes, as well as for her furniture;  little table pieces or pieces to decorate chairs, and such.
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crochet pattern written by Frieda
Frieda Katherine was in her 80's when I was born and died just before I turned four.  I only have a couple of memories of her; including her last birthday party.
She came from a German immigrant farming family, who had very little.  She would share an egg with a sibling for breakfast in the morning.  Comparing that to our three and four egg omelets people eat today, I cannot imagine having so little.  Yet, somehow, as with her generation, it was not something to whine over, it was just part of life.
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Frieda (seated) and her sister Mary.
She was very pretty; with light brown hair and light blue eyes.  She married my great-grandfather in 1905 and they were given 60 acres of farm land as a wedding gift.  She and her husband worked hard and after a few years had their only child, my grandfather.

The newspapers of the time would run columns for the housewife to learn various ways to make their home attractive.  If the woman wanted she could send in 5 cents either in stamps or cents to get more information regarding the quilting pattern.
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I also found articles from Die Deutsche Hausfrau or The German Housewife.  These articles, obviously written in German, were from a newspaper that was printed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for a number of years.  Eventually the paper was retitled Die Hausfrau.  Not only did the paper print information for the housewife and the young ladies of the house (jungfrauen literally translated as virgins), but it also ran letters from people in other states or cities, kind of like a personals column.

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May, 1904
The dates from the newspaper clippings range from 1914-1932.  There were a couple articles from The Farm Journal that were from the 1920's.  My favorite discovery however, came from a magazine article that was dated May, 1904.  Frieda was married in 1905 so I can only imagine that this was for her trousseau.
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Her wedding day. Note that they aren't holding hands.
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Some of Frieda's handiwork
Great-grandma made so many different crafts for her household over the years.  She could knit, crochet, tat (which is a form of crocheting), quilt, and she also made braided rugs.

Each of her great-grandchildren have a braided rug she made.  I know that her generation made things out of necessity but it did not mean that the women did not want a beautiful home.  I am grateful for her creativity, I only hope as I learn how to do these things, I too will have a home like hers.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice. Never heard her complain about what she did not have, always how fortunate we were.