Today, as I worked on scarf with what remained of the skein of yarn I had been working from for the first of two fingerless gloves:
I came across an article about Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year.
It is (by my reckoning) a purple that tends toward blue, and the powers that be at Pantone have named it “Ultra Violet,” which reminded me of my maternal grandmother, who, at the age of twelve, traveled across an ocean with her mother and her four siblings to come to what I think of as “this country.”
Born in Ljubinje, Herzegovina my grandmother arrived in New York, on what was no doubt a cold winter day in early January 1910, where she was greeted by the Statue of Liberty. But her final destination was Los Angles, California, where her father had set up several businesses in the years that preceded her immigration.
After a decade of going back and forth between Ljubinje and Los Angeles as he worked to secure a foothold in Southern California, he was finally able to bring over his entire family, and in that moment my grandmother was, both literally and culturally in a new world.
Eventually, for my grandmother, coming to a new country meant choosing a new name. By the time I became part of her family, twelve year-old Ljubica Likich had transformed into Violet Benjamin, a thrice widowed woman with five living children, and one who had died in childhood.
After my mother saw that Catherine DePasquale’s Victorian Texting Glove pattern was once again available, she requested a pair. I asked what color, and this was her response:
Any color you like , preferably bright like red or hot pink – probably red. Chartreuse is good, too, as is a bright purple.
And when I went through the yarn in my available stash, I thought this fit the bill for “bright purple/ultra violet, a color that both commemorates my mother’s mother while looking forward to the new year:
So with hook in hand and directions on my computer, I got to work. I got this far before my dog insisted that he needed a walk:
I am not able to imagine the life my grandmother lived, but I do what I can to honor it, one stitch at a time.