Here’s something I wonder about, almost every day: Why do we do this? Knitting, I mean. Handknitting in the Age of J. Crew. Today, for my Why Do We Do This file, Carolyn sent me the image above and the following note:
“My great, great grandmother (1821-1904) knit lace using tiny steel knitting needles. She kept her ball of cotton thread in a large pocket of a long black skirt [Ed. Note: Carolyn is not that old! She must know about the long black skirt from pictures and/or family lore.] She created a variety of patterns and intricate designs to be used for decorative edgings for bureau scarves [Ed. Note: Remember bureau scarves?! At what point in the 1960s did everybody in the country agree, ‘OK, we’re done with the bureau scarf thing.’], hand towels, pillow cases, and underwear garments (all the while raising 5 children and managing a dairy farm and doing ‘charity’ work!). The lace was always removed and saved. About 10 years ago, my mother carefully stitched sections to black velvet, and framed these masterpieces for relatives. It is one of my treasured heirlooms. xox Carolyn”
[Note to Carolyn: Ann is having a Major Covetous Moment right now. Ann trolls the Tailgate Antiques Show for ‘mending samplers’. Just imagine, if you will, how a framed set of hand-knit lace samples — removed from 19th century undergarments, even–would send her absolutely out of her everlovin’ gourd. Send smelling salts.]
Thanks, Carolyn. As always you made my day.
More Mail With Good Gossip
Lookie here—another Cindy afghan!
Apparently those lil’ ol’ Florida hurricanes did not bother Cindy one bit. She kept on a-sewing, in any event. She also sent this. It’s a wonderful aran pullover Cindy made for her daughter’s fiance, who subsequently became an ex-fiance. Good get to repossess the handknits, Cindy! Cindy generously sent it (it’s a bit warm for Florida apparently) with the request that I find a good home for it. In light of its rugged beauty and toasty warmth, I have selected it a good home in Afghanistan. It is a bit large for a child, but a teenage boy or girl could surely use it.
Thanks so much Cindy!
And now I must go shopping for a long black skirt! Happy weekend, y’all.