The modified Galway hat is still pinned to the blocking board. I worked on Tasha last night, instead, finishing the 2nd back/front and knitting both edge bands! I cast on for the side/strap and knit a few rows on that, too. I brought it to work and hope that I can work on it a bit today. I think it's Aunt Lydia's denim-something that I'm using for this bag -- whatever it is, it's wound on a big ball and it gets very twisted. I really do love how the fabric feels, though; I was surprised. I will admit that I didn't swatch at all for this project -- hope it doesn't bite me. I'm not too concerned with the size of the finished bag, so, whatever.
(Warning: the rest of this post has absolutely nothing to do with knitting. It's really a bit of a ramble, again, stemming from so many things -- old pictures and grandparents and wooden bowls -- and going pretty much nowhere. It just wanted to come out, the connections from the heart to the key-tapping fingertips pretty much by-passing the brain today.)
Thanks for your comments on my mile-long cable and the Catalpa bowl. As I wrote to Ann, I think it's the story/history -- or even the perceived story/history -- behind almost any object that makes it nearly impossible to curb my packrat tendencies. I love stories. I especially love hearing them, but I also love telling them. As a child, my mother called me "elephant ears" -- I'd never go play with the other kids, but would rather sit and listen to adults talk and tell stories. (Be very quiet and don't ask questions and usually they wouldn't notice.) I'm still that way. I think that's why I like big family gatherings so much.
I think my interest in family history and genealogy is all tied up in the telling of stories and collecting of things, also, and I do it in a similar fashion. I prefer to do my research quietly and alone, in courthouses and libraries. I'm not real keen on prodding people for stories and information, but will listen intently if they're inclined to tell a story after they've had their pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. Or share objects. Or pictures. The sharing of an object that has a story -- any sort of story -- is a treasure.
My Grandma K's treadle sewing machine has a story. Not trusting the quality of ready-made clothing, she would reinforce the seams of every clothing item she bought from a store. I was only 8 when she died, but I still remember where that sewing machine was located in her dining room, and the plants she had on the top of the machine that left the water rings that caused my mother to paint it green and apply an "antique" finish to it in the late '60s. We used to "sew" things on that machine when we were kids. The belt was a little loose and usually came off; it wasn't loose enough that we didn't have to really work to get it back in the groove. Mom said that Grandpa was always fooling with that thing. I wish I'd taken better care of it.
It's Grandma K's china featured prominently in the mosaic table I made last summer. A reminder. One little thing that can trigger so many memories. Memories that I like to share with my kids. The way the toast would practically fly out of their toaster, the unique smell of their house, the way Grandpa liked his Cheerios -- the only person I know who put honey on them instead of sugar. I always think of Grandpa when I smell honey. Grandma would go off on cleaning jags that led to actual scrubbing of the rafters in the attic. She never had her laundry on the line before the neighbors, in fact, she was usually last, but hers was always the whitest.
There are so many other things for which I have A story or part of a story, but not THE story. The picture of Eva, my Grandpa B's grandmother who died in 1896. She had a special place in my heart before I even knew what she looked like; a portrait was unearthed in a relative's basement a few years ago, and I have a copy tacked up on my computer desk. She's inspiration. I've visited the cemetery and photographed the iron cross that marks her grave. Was it a photograph or a plaque once attached at the bottom of that cross, long since gone? She was only 40. She may have died in childbirth, and the infant, too -- the infant may have been a twin. It's all so fuzzy. I wish I knew how it came to be that she and her sister married brothers, and why those brothers both went by the same name -- one as Jr. and the other as Jr. 2nd. (I swear to God, it's on legal documents.) I wish I could perceive Eva's story/history more clearly. I sometimes wish that I could make it up, create a story for her. I've thought about that quite often, but the collision of the real and the un-real makes me freeze up.
When my Grandma B was working on writing her memoir a few years ago, she told me that she would try to write something every evening. Sometimes she had to fight hard to come up with a "worthy" thought, idea, or memory. Other times, the thought of just one, seemingly insignificant thing would let loose a flood of memories, one triggering another, that it was hard to stop. Exhausting, too, I imagine. That's how I feel today. Melancholy, sentimental, frustrated, and exhausted already. But happy, too.