Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Craft from the past

IMG_5564, originally uploaded by JenNZL.

I love this chair. We bought it off Trade Me when my eldest son was still a baby, and it has seen countless nights of rocking already, within its four years in our house. Underneath the blankets, it's a worn, threadbare brocade, and the springs are a bit tired, but I still love it.
The blanket on the back of the chair was made by my great aunt, and every time I look at it I'm reminded of the amazing resourcefulness of that generation, inspired of course by necessity. She's used every last scrap - in some places, each half of one of the little shell corners of each granny-square is a different yarn.
The blanket on the bottom was made by another great aunt for my grandmother, to keep her warm while she zipped around the cold streets on her mobility scooter. I love the way that home made stuff enables you to pack up and post a little bit of yourself to someone when you can't be there in person.
I remember this same great aunt patiently teaching me how to crochet a granny square when I was younger - using a tiny scrap ball of pink wool and a crochet hook with a red plastic handle. We went to see the Sesame Street live show together and I crocheted in the dark.

Anyway, with two boys sick at home it just got me thinking about all the little familiarities of home that make it the best place to be, particularly when you're not feeling all that flash. Making nests on the couch with quilts and pillows and soft toys. The familiarity of the smell of washing powder on fresh sheets. It's funny, the things that stick in your mind as really vivid memories of things that were real comforts growing up. Not always the things that were big, or perhaps even significant at the time. It's got me pondering on which traditions and experiences will become significant to our family.
I've got a couple of things cut out and ready to sew, and while I'm itching to get at the machine to sew them up, I'm thinking a quiet day in, maybe adding a few more rows to the slowly-developing crochet throw might be a plan. Maybe a bit of playdough. Maybe some baking. Can't really go wrong with chocolate chip biccies on a cold rainy day, can you?


  1. Snap! I'm hunkering down for a session of crochet practice today. Keep cosy!!

  2. I do love a good piece of crochet, I do. They are so beautiful, and wonderful to have the family connection, and the generation connections.

    Sorry to hear boys are sick. That'll be no fun, not for anyone.