Heritage Blankets

In Attire
Ecuadorian Alpaca wool blankets (left
Ecuadorian Alpaca wool blankets (left

Two stacks of blankets sit before me, each representing a different side of my heritage. The knitted blankets were handmade and given to my children and I by both my mother and my grandmother, respectively. This skill was passed down for generations, which I believe began with my great-great grandmother who immigrated to the United States from Nova Scotia, Canada in 1905. My lineage on my mother’s side can be traced back to France and Germany. My grandmother knitted each of her grandchildren a blanket to celebrate our graduation from high school, which was a huge accomplishment in her eyes, because she was the first person in her family to do so. My mother has knit each of my children a blanket upon their birth. Each has been made with so much love and care, and will be cherished for generations to come. The other stack represents my father’s side, each with its own vibrant color and pattern but all sharing the same fuzzy, soft texture derived from alpaca wool. There is history and culture carefully hand woven into the textile, with each color representing something different such as nature, vitality, pure energy and divinity, and together they tell a story. These blankets not only provide me with warmth, but a connection to my Ecuadorian ancestors that is palpable. As I wrap them around my own children, and tell them our history, I hope they feel it too. 

Place(s): Canada, France, Germany, Ecuador, United States
Year: 1905

– Sarah Scarfone

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more