This is my great grandmother. Her name was Sofia, and she was the first person I ever saw knit or crochet. This photo was taken of her in Lake Tahoe at my Uncle Louie's cabin. It's the only photo I've ever seen of her knitting.
She was Big Nana, to me, even though she stood only 4'10". She spoke Italian and very little English. She went to church every day, walking up and down the steep Filbert Street hill to go to Ss. Peter and Paul Church in North Beach. She rode the cable cars well into her 80's.
I grew up around the corner from Big Nana, who lived with Auntie Florence and Uncle Ralph. I visited her on many occasions and always found her sitting in her chair, working on a bureau scarf or doll clothes or something for a baby. Sofia lived to the age of 92, a gentle soul who helped me appreciate fine handmade things.