Sunday, 27 July 2008

Finger in the trigger

I would be devastated if I lost my gran’s thimble. And not just because it’s one of the few I’ve come across that actually fits me.

It’s rusting slightly inside and quite worn on the outside, but every time I slip it on to my finger, it triggers memories of her – how she used to smell, the way her hugs made me feel safe, her worn knitting bag with the dowel handles…

I think she’d be happy to know I’m using her thimble. And that a pair of her bamboo handles will soon be attached to a bag I’m making. Her embroidery threads have been used up over the years and her buttons hold my pincushions together, but I’m saving a small container of clear glass beads until I have the perfect project in mind. And I’m about to start stitching a leafy embroidery on a piece of her fabric. These are my small testaments to her life.

I like thinking about her and imagining what it would have been like to stitch away afternoons with her as an adult. Sadly, this will never happen. Just like I will never know my husband’s ouma (gran), who was never without a crochet hook and ball of wool.

We have two of her crocheted blankets and I like to think they were made with the very hooks my mom-in-law kindly passed on to me. The ones I keep in their original blue plastic packaging, so they don’t get mixed up with my newer ones.

I may be overly sentimental, but these are my versions of crumbling sepia photographs.


kat said...

Sometimes I like to think of items like those as 'infused' with the talents of their previous owners... like the office chair I inherited from a previous CD. Sadly I still haven't won a Cannes Gold : ) At least your talent runs in the family!

Lil D said...

I know what you mean. One of the things that made me want to teach myself how to sew / knit / crochet was the thought of people like my great-grandma, who made such wonderful things. I felt like there should be someone who could pass it on to my kid's generation, so that they know to value things like that, too.

Cele said...

Its amazing how the little objects that loved ones used can evoke powerful feelings and memories. Im sure your grandmother would be delighted that you are carrying on a family tradition of crafting but also remembering her crafting in such a loving way.

Tilly said...

Just looking at a pair of needles reminds me so much of my grandmother who was always knitting. I so wish I had some of her needles now. Your thimble is a true treasure.