Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Sense of History


A few years back (like 15 or so), I inherited my maternal Grandmothers knitting basket - complete with some REALLY old acrylic yarn and strangely tiny DPN's. This basket moved apartments and homes several times with me, but I never really dug into it's contents much.

(A little side history on my Grandmother. She was a very crafty woman, always knitting or crocheting. I understand she was also quite accomplished at needlepoint in her younger days when her eyesight was still good. I was named after my Grandmother (middle name) and I understand we look quite a bit alike and are both accomplished crafters. Unfortunately my Grandmother had a severe stroke when I was 2 and had to live in a nursing home. My memories of her are all of going to visit her there. She passed away when I was 7.)

Fast forward to yesterday; my friend Rachael called and we were talking about our knitting projects. I told her that I needed to use up some of my stash before I would allow myself to buy anything new. I finished up DH's fuzzy feet yesterday and was thinking about the next project I was going to start. I went upstairs and saw my Grandmothers basket. I figured now was as good of time as any to really explore it. (I'll admit though, I got rid of the nasty acrylic yarn ages ago *wink*)

The first thing I noticed is that this is a really nice basket! So instead of storing my current stash/projects in miscellaneous boxes, I brought down the basket. (Doesn't it just scream "old time knitting" to you?) Most of my current "good yarn" stash fits in this basket nicely. I only have a few other skeins of miscellaneous yarn not in it, and quite frankly, I may never use that yarn!

I also went through all the needles. Almost all of them were metal (NOT a fan) and some were impossibly tiny! I pulled out my trusty needle sizer and discovered that the largest pair was a 2.75mm - yikes! The smallest pair was SMALLER than a size 0 - so that makes them a 00? Does that even exist?

So now on to my new project. Since all I could imagine knitting on the impossibly tiny DPN's is a pair of socks, I cast a pair on last night. For this project I have broken two of my cardinal sins of knitting: 1) Using a cheap acrylic. 2) Using an impossibly tiny needle size.

Since I've vowed to use up some of my stash, I will forge ahead anyway. I actually kind of like the way the striping is working out. These might actually be a nice pair of socks when I finish. And I have to tell you, I feel a tremendous sense of history using a set of needles that my Grandmother knit with and I feel strangely connected to her somehow. I guess it just goes to show you that what's old is new again.

Knit on!!

2 comments:

hakucho said...

Most of my knitting needles and crochet hooks (and pattern books) were either my mother's or grandmother's so I know very well the feeling of knitting with their things. I wouldn't part with any of it. I'm still knitting with my mother's yarn as well...she's been gone now 8 years. You are so lucky you have such a wonderful basket...really nice and sturdy and looks quite handsome as well :) Enjoy!!

HeidiQ said...

such a great story!! thanks for sharing - your yarn looks great in her basket!
oh, and i had to chuckle at the picture on the acrylic yarn you found - very retro :)