Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Inheritance

When my grandmother was born in 1918, her mother was a milliner and accomplished seamstress. As a precious only child (until her brother was born in 1928), little-girl Pearl was always dressed to the nines in velvet and ribbons. Grandma herself would have had the sewing skills of most women in her generation: sewing on buttons, patching worn spots, darning socks, and making clothes last a little longer were part of being a wife and mother of the mid-twentieth century.

When Grandma moved into a seniors' residence, she no longer needed her sewing kit, and gave it to my mother to pass along to me. Within its depths, I found a wealth not all might appreciate, but which I greatly treasure.

Needles wrapped in perfect, tiny envelopes, bragging of the quality within.

Imagine, having a century's worth of needle-making skills that would allow you to guarantee the quality of your product!

It would appear that Abel Morrall's claims are true: these are fine needles.

Wooden spools with beautiful labels.
And this beautiful little book, full of all-purpose patterns for most basic knitting needs!


The item I love the most is this fabric measuring tape, marked timelessly in inches, even though in Canada, we "officially" use the metric system. I imagine my grandmother's hands measuring her child for a sweater, and even HER mother's hands measuring my little-girl Grandma.

Some women inherit diamond rings or precious china. I inherited the tools of a woman's work, imbued with the history of my foremothers. I am rich, indeed.

7 comments:

  1. I have some of my great-grandmother's sewing things as well: tiny sharps with microscopic eyes for sewing fine silks, like stockings, and a "sewing bird" for holding hems straight, some turned needle cases and my favorite, glass-headed pins with irregular heads (hand made, no doubt) in many colors.

    Are they not wonderful to handle and use?

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  2. What gorgeous treasures! They would look beautiful in a shadow box all togther,perhaps with a picture of your grandmother. You are lucky indeed :)

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  3. What treasures! So exciting to discover things from our past that mean so much to us

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  4. What an intriguing peek into the past...love the label about the needles. What pride people had in their work.....sure do miss that these days.

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  5. Okay, first I want you to know that I DO read your posts shortly after you've posted them, even if you don't see any words from me in a timely fashion. Timely is not something my life allows for at present. But I am visiting, and drinking in every delicious post.

    Second, I completely understand where you're coming from. These are riches that get right on down to the nitty gritty of life - no wonder you love it, Knitty Gritty!

    And I love the "1st size". Language fascinates me.

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  6. Just as these beautiful treasures mean much to you, so do old cookbooks resonate with me. What women cooked for their families and friends fascinates me! xo

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