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!!


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!!

Anonymous 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 :)