27 February 2011

Sunday Sifting

The decluttering continues and today I tackled a box of vintage cotton reels. They have been happily sifted, sorted and reboxed. The yarn is still surprisingly strong and it must have been really good quality, it feels soft and sturdy. The labels are delightful.

I also had to figure out what to do with this curious, tiny item that my auntie found in a box of junk. It is knitted but is so tiny it must have taken a decade. The mystery has been solved this week by 'Knitting Traditions' (a special edition of 'Piecework' which has designs adapted from traditional folk knitting). It seems that this could be just one of many squares that belonged to a quilt. Or, because of the border, a coaster for a bedside table to match the quilt.
Happy happy - the magazine provides a similar ancient pattern in modern format. Ooooh!

Below is a photo from 1890 of a knitted quilt made of just these squares. The quilt is now long gone but it was owned at the time by Betsey Penhallow of Portsmouth, New Hampshire and this is her bedroom. As part of a heritage project a group of volunteer knitters have painstakingly reconstructed the quilt for display - they used 2mm needles with crochet silk and the border alone took two months!

So, what to do with this tiny little itty bit of knitting?
It must have been produced with such attention to exacting standards, I'm sure the maker would appreciate me repairing the seams. As I sift, I know how much minimalism and order create a spacious mind but sometimes treasures are meant to be treasured.

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