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Grandma Joyce and Grandpa Don on their honeymoon, 1945

As a young newlywed, my grandmother elbowed her way into a kitchen crowded with the extended family’s more experienced cooks. “I told myself, ‘If I can read, I can cook.'” It’s a simple concept, and I believe it 100%.

It’s unfortunate that she was her own biggest critic, because cooking dinner wasn’t the only thing Grandma Joyce taught herself to do well. I can’t think of a thing she put in front of me to eat that wasn’t delicious, or any piece of jewelry or clothing she made that wasn’t beautiful.

She might have fixated on snafus and “flops” the rest of us didn’t notice, and waved away much of the praise and celebration. But I do believe she was proud of her adventurous spirit and willingness to learn and experiment. That’s only one of the many ways she’s an inspiration to me.

The Bardsey projects are a tribute to Grandma Joyce. They’re my attempt to turn “I wish I coulds” and “I would but I don’t know hows” into…well, maybe not always successes. But at least into fun experiments with my favorite things: things to eat, things to wear, and things that remind me of Grandma.

about emily (knitfaced) Emily Williams is an editor, writer, knitter, baker, television geek, cheese-eater, and wine-drinker in Chicago, Illinois.

You can find her on as kn1tfaced and on Twitter.

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