Thursday, March 15, 2007

My Grandmother's Stash....


First, I have some "housekeeping" to do!

Marie....Thanks for your comment! My digital scale is the kitchen scale I got when I was doing Weight Watchers. In my head, I'm a "cool gadgets" kind of gal, and there were some really sweet digital scales that were all chrome and glass and sleek looking....but the scale that Weight Watchers sells does the job, and was the least expensive I found. SO, the reality of my budget dictated the Weight Watchers brand, and it does the job just fine. While I'm no longer doing WW, I do still use the scale in the kitchen for various things, and it's handy for wool and dyeing as well.

Also, local yarn stores are a wonderful mixed blessing. I love to visit and revel in the wooly wonder of it, take classes, get advice......but trips to my various LYS's are a contributing factor to above budget issues....

Lauren....Yeah, Sprinkles!! I'm knitting with Sprinkles. Be alert for other signs of the end times.

RPW.... I did NOT knit in church!! Bible class, yes..... ;)

Now. Onto my Grandmother's Stash.

My dad's mom taught me to crochet. I was very young - we were still living in Columbus Indiana, and we moved away from there when I was 8. I remember having some yellow yarn and a crochet hook, and making chains. It's all I could do at first - chain. I remember sitting there making a chain that just grew longer and longer, and picturing a chain long enough to go ALL THE WAY around my room! (I believe that this is the root of my belief that any room looks better if there is some form of yarn in it.) She also brought me some lily-of-the-valley to plant near the house, and they remain my favorite flower.

When I was a little older, I was ready to make more than chains. I remember that for my first project, I wanted to make a handkerchief for my father's birthday present. Because everyone wants something scratchy with holes to blow their nose with...hey, I was 8, remember?? This project is the root of many things....weird project ideas; having a vision but not a pattern; and a project that dies before it is finished.

I believe that it also is the root of my stash lust. When I proposed this project to my grandmother and asked for help (bless her sainted soul!) she did not dissuade me, or bother me with pesky details about reality, she took me upstairs to one of the spare rooms and opened her big 3-door wardrobe.

Like the wardrobe in the spare room of "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," these doors opened to a magical world. It was her Stash. There were glimpses of yarns jumbled together in baskets, bags from craft stores piled on top of each other, works-in-progress all in a glorious riot of color and texture and craft. Not just yarn, but also fabric. She crocheted, she knitted, she tatted, she sewed, she quilted - really, I'm just a slacker. She never met a craft she didn't like. She did hairpin lace on some contraption with two parallel sticks, she did an afghan stitch with a really LONG crochet hook, she did a daisy afghan with some little circle thing.....she could do anything.

When she was a young mother, she sewed all of the clothes for her family,
including blue jeans, and when things wore out, she cut them up and made quilts from the fabric. I remember a quilt made from what was left after all of her son's blue jeans wore out too much to patch. She also had a surplus military parachute - bright orange and white. She had various visions for that fabric over the years. I remember several times she experimented with different pieced patterns for quilting it. Whenever they moved, I looked for the orange-and-white, and I knew that's where the Stash had ended up.

I was, however, restricted from visiting the Stash unless she was with me (which made it even more mystical.) I didn't understand that at the time - I just wanted to SEE everything, and touch it! I wouldn't hurt anything, or take anything, really! However, now that I have a Stash of my own (one that I think would make her proud!) I understand a few things.

1. I don't profess to know where everything in my Stash actually is, but if someone moved something, I'd have even less of a chance of finding it.


2. That jumble of bags and projects and sheer volume, which to a stasher is a beautiful and comforting sight, can be a little.....embarrassing when shown to others.

But I think this story may help us to see how I got to the place that I am in now.

Does anyone know why I bought this yarn? When? Where?? What I was thinking?? I love it, of course, but I've really been freaked out by the fact that I have no recollection of how it got into my closet! (Otherwise known as Stash Auxilliary Location Number Three. or Four. I get them confused.)

Keep knitting!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter)


YarnThrower said...

You crack me up!

Marie N. said...

Thanks for the link and the info on the scale. I wonder if I can find room in my kitchen or my closet for one of those. Now, in all seriousness, that should read "I want to buy one. How can I show my husband it is necessary," shouldn't it!!!

Marie N. said...

By the way, you wrote a nice tribute to grandma too.

Lauren said...

I swear I dont remember being with you when you bought that yarn. You are on your own!!!

Jenn said...

I think Baby Alpaca Brush from Plymouth is in my top 5 of most favorite yarns right now. It looks to me like some sort of Halloween project was contemplated here - perhaps a hat? *shrug* It is quite orange.