Sunday, March 05, 2006

ANYONE FOR KNITTING?
Yesterday I went to a garage sale.

Now in spite of my good intentions, I am not usually very quick off the mark with these things. Even after clearing up from our Saturday morning family breakfast, I dilly-dallied, and did not make it to the Sale until 3 hours after it started!
And as always happens, there were only the more unusual, quirky type of things left.
Like a box of knitting needles....$4.00 the lot!
Yes, I bought them.
When I got them home, I counted over 90 pairs of knitting needles, in all shapes, materials and sizes.
I already have quite a collection of knitting needles in a drawer up in the attic.
And I do not even knit!!
Well, I can knit in a basic sort of way, and when I was a teenager, you simply did not have a fashionable jumper or cardigan unless you knitted it yourself (or were lucky enough to have a knitting grandma!). In those days, it was fortunate that mohair was in vogue, because the long fluffy fibres covered up a multitude of sins of dropped stitches and uneven tension. I took my last stitches of plain and purl nearly 32 years ago while I was in hospital after John's birth, and have not returned to it since.
Why would I buy all these needles? Well, it is some sort of compulsion to be a custodian of all things 'textile', in case they become forgotten antiquities. There is something so basic, so 'salt of the earth' as knitting, and is a skill we will still value if and when we are all forced to go back to basics!
When I taught a class of 8-10 year olds some years ago, we had a term where every Friday afternoon, out would come the wool, the needles etc, and with the help of a parent and grandma or two, most of those kids learned to some basic knitting. Those who just did not have the staying power to produce a scarf, or at least a square, dabbled with French knitting or pom-poms. It may be the only time in their lives that some of those kids have a grass-roots creative contact with a ball of yarn!
I am seriously turned on by the current craze of freeform knitting and what they call "scrumbling". In fact I am very tempted to try it, even though my knitting and crochet skills are fairly limited. Such wonderful opportunties to do your own thing, without worrying about counting stitches or tensions..and such riots of colour!!
Some of the modern yarns are very appealing, and I have quite a collection of short lengths which I use for couching, or arranged under tulle, and overlaid with beads and embroidery.
Back to the Garage sale. I was also fortunate enough to buy some little boxes of jewellery, including a lovely little box of mother of pearl studs and cuff links, which I love. These will all find a home on a piece of textile art or crazy patchwork some day.
I often wonder about holding a garage sale ourselves. I don't think it will ever happen...I am just too sentimental!

1 comment:

ferg said...

I wish we had garage sales which offered such bounty! I would have bought the needles, even though I have that many already, for the same reason. The jewellery find was a real treasure too. Well done!
Cheers Gillian

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