further along . . . that ‘slipper’y slide . . .

Today I got a new backup/surge protector for Mum’s computer and replaced the old one. I then typed a few paragraphs for this post. Then, for some reason, there was a ‘blip’ and the computer shut itself off and so did the new battery thingy . . . again, all was lost. Luckily, I am not . . . so, here we go again, beginning more or less from where I left off with the last post . . .

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A finished blue slipper, still to be sewn up and then felted.

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The blue slippers, now both on the same needle, still not quite complete.

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Above – where I was when the last post gave up the ghost; I began the Jade Heather green slippers on Sunday afternoon, I think it was, after finishing the knitting of the indigo blue ones before lunch that day. I cast on the first set of stitches and knitted a few rows, then, remembering that I really don’t like doing the same thing twice (why I usually knit sleeves, mitts, etc., at the same time; also so that they match), I cast on the stitches for the second slipper and knitted those until the works were even.

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Yesterday morning I was up to here . . .

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. . . and then I remembered the main pitfall of knitting two items at the same time on the same needle (I use circulars for this most of the time); I got into the rhythm and obviously distracted myself thinking about something or other. A few rows later I noticed what you can see above – I had used the yarn from one slipper to knit on the second set of stitches . . . sigh . . . another ‘oh, well’ moment, but not one that could go without correction. So, very carefully, I undid stitches until I came to the offending bit, then made sure I had the right strand and continued on my way . . . IMG_8163

Tonight I am nearly up to where the pattern calls for decreasing to form the toes.

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I hope the colour comes through; it makes me crazy not to be able to tell what you lot are looking at . . . on my end, the photos just look dark and I can’t see the mossy green, heathery colour I love so much.

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Upside down, sorry, but maybe you can still make it out . . .

You know, I had completely forgotten what a joy it is to work with real wool. It’s so much easier on my hands than acrylic. I still prefer acrylic for anything I give away, as I hate the thought of all that work being lost when someone forgets and throws a piece in the wash or, even worse, the dryer. When my eldest son was born, two of his aunts, who lived in New Zealand, made him a lovely baby shawl in the old style. I loved it so much. That winter we lived in a small shack within hitchhiking distance from Ladysmith, BC (in good weather, close enough to walk). One day we took the laundry to a Laundromat. When I took everything out of the dryer to fold it, I found a small mat of some kind. I couldn’t imagine whose it could be . . . I thought at first someone had left it behind by accident. Then, the horror gripped me . . . you guessed it; it was the formerly lovely shawl, now completely unusable. I was so devastated. I don’t think I ever told anyone what had happened to it, and lucky for me, no one asked. I still feel such shame at my carelessness . . . it would have been a precious heirloom to pass down now that that same son has his own wee ones.

But, as I was saying, I remember now how much I love wool, the feel of it, the ease of knitting with it; the stitches just slide along so easily . . . and now that I have learned that small plastic fibres from things like acrylic yarn and those fleece garments made from recycled pop bottles and the like are causing a major problem in the ocean, as they are eaten (accidently) by fish, working their way up the food chain and ending up in our own food (we deserve it, though, don’t we?), I’m inclined to use only wool from now on (well, once I finish using up my acrylic stash, and I do have mixed feelings about that, too).

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Speaking of heirlooms, this is a photo of the rocking chair once owned by my Mother’s maternal Grandmother and my Great-Grandmother. This was the woman my Mum and her siblings called Bestemor, which is Norwegian for Grandmother. I never knew her, but I have loved the stories about her all my life and to honour her and also my Mum’s mother, who died when Mum was only 10, my grandkidlets call me Bestemor, too. It helps to keep the various grandmothers straight, as these days kids tend to have more than two anyway. In Norway, I would have called this Great-Grandmother ‘Oldmor’, or Old Mother. I like that, too, although I suppose some people might be offended by it these days. I hope to be an Oldmor one day, but that’s likely a long time off.

This rocking chair was ‘lost’ for some time, then one day, when my parents were visiting Mum’s Uncle Bill in Saskatchewan, they got to talking about some of the old things they remembered. Uncle Bill told Mum that the rocking chair was in his basement, but in pieces. He asked if she’d like to have it anyway and when my Dad saw it and realized that only one small arm spindle was missing, they were delighted to take it home. My Dad could do anything and do it well. He made a new spindle, refinished all the wood and cleaned up the round leather seat with its lovely tooling.

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The original seat, as good as ever.

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I like the pressed pattern of the upper back, too. One reason this rocker is so important to me is that my Oldmor, my Bestemor, my Mum and I have all sat in it with our wee ones. Such a heart-warming connection for me. We don’t sit in it anymore; Dad felt the wood was too old and might not be able to take the strain. Besides, he’s not here anymore to fix things for us and I doubt we have anyone left who could.

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More photos from frigid, snowy Friday, two weeks back; taken on my way home from the library with Mum’s supply of reading for two weeks. Good thing I still have my backpacks . . . it’s the easiest way to carry things these days.

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A lovely tree on my way home with groceries the following day. That yellow light way ahead of the shopping trolley marks our front steps. We’ve had a few days of unusually warm temperatures (up to +12 or so late yesterday evening, for example) and much of that snow is already a distant memory . . . weird weather, eh? today it was +6 or so and I was quite warm in my fleece jacket and unlined poplin coat.

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More of the lovely snow, going to the mall and on the way back . . .

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Taken from the bottom of our front steps and looking south towards downtown.

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Another of my favourite heirlooms: this was the secretary (writing desk) that belonged to my Mum’s parents. When she was young, the family lived in a farmhouse with one bedroom (for the parents and the youngest child) and a large room that had the kitchen at one end, a large dining table with benches down the sides, a double bed shared by the three sons (two older and one quite young), with two more double beds shared by the six girls and separated from the larger area by curtains hung on a rope or wire. At the foot of one of the girls’ beds stood a chest of drawers that held their clothing and at the foot of the other girls’ bed stood this desk. Here my Grandfather sat to do the farm’s accounts and pay the bills and no doubt this is where both he and my Grandmother sat to write letters to family far off, in Connecticut and in Norway. I’m pretty sure there were some family still in North Dakota, too. My Aunty was lucky to end up with this piece. It had been in the care of the oldest sister. When her oldest daughter, my cousin, and her husband took over the family farm my cousin hated the dark old furniture that had belonged to her grandparents, so much of it was thrown out. The thought of that breaks my heart, even today, so long afterwards. But my Aunt, that cousin’s mother, called my Aunty who now lives here and offered her the desk, as it was a piece from their own family. She had it in the back of her truck and brought it over that day. Some time later, my Aunty let someone re-finish it, so it’s now a lighter colour than it was originally. The handles are cheap new ones. I wish someone had thought to keep the old ones, as they might have been restored or at least replaced by something similar. They didn’t have the backplates you can see in the photo. This desk is solid oak and I’ll share a picture of the inside of the top with you another day.

Well, back to knitting . . . big hugs to all of you in the Virtual Village. ~ Linne

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18 thoughts on “further along . . . that ‘slipper’y slide . . .

  1. This was a treat all the way through. I had an Oma (German grandma) whom I adored. I loved all the photos of snow and tonight part of my gratitude list will be that I no longer live in it, have to drive in it, or shovel it. It’s postcard perfect especially the one with the light way down the road. I loved living in the snow till the last year.
    Your rocking chair and secretary are stunning. I’m not into the sleek, modern look and so many people don’t appreciate the quality of craftsmanship. I would treasure them too. A nice bear would be cute in the rocker. Happy New Year.

  2. Stunning memories with furniture attached to them. πŸ˜‰ I too have shrunk things, in my case a ripper of an op shop find – pure Shetland wool cardi in a lovely vintage brown. SUPER warm and all the rest. Sadly our cats like to pee on the dirty washing pile and the smell is hard to get out. Yep, warm wash. It’s shrunk from a comfy size 14 to about a size 10 and I am most definitely NOT a size 10 sort of person. I can squidge into it but with popping buttons and short sleeves… I can’t bear to throw it out though. Maybe in a few years Jas will fit into it and wear it. 😦

    As for knitting sleeves etc at the same time, I truly AM your hippitochter. I do exactly the same thing and I have also knitted the 2 together more than once. Frustrating to the max! As for real wool, whenever I can I knit with the real stuff too. Australia was born on the back of the sheep but since the invention of synthetic yarns and stuff, wool just isn’t profitable like it used to be. I’d never thought about synthetic yarn fibres getting into the waterways though so I think it’s all about the wool now.

    • πŸ™‚ I love that “memories with furniture attached” – even if they are someone else’s memories, I know they are there. Every time I look at the rocker, I ‘see’ the women of my family with their babies, or my Mum and her next older sister as young children, sitting in it.

      Had to laugh at our similar adventures with yarn, knitting and accidental felting πŸ˜‰ It’s what makes me so grateful for this Village – finding kindred spirits all ’round the world. You are my HippieTochter in so many ways . . . except one: as Narfie would say, you are always working ‘flat out like a lizard drinking’ πŸ˜‰ Me, I’m more ‘flat out like lizard roadkill’ . . . I could use some of that drive and energy . . . wanna trade for some extremely laid-back calm?

    • Have you thought of re-purposing that wool jumper into a button-up vest with beautiful buttons? Or, if you are very brave, into a top for a dress with a light woolen skirt (I’m thinking almost a Pinny or school uniform sort of shape as the sleeves could be used to make side panels [and maybe a hat] and it would be perfect for winter . . .

      And, yes, the tiny plastic fibres in the waterways (and eventually the ocean) are apparently becoming a HUGE issue. And me with all this acrylic yarn and re-cycled plastic bottle fleece jackets . . . :-/

  3. What beautiful decorative furniture! It has so much more character than the newfangled stuff πŸ™‚ The slippers are coming along great. I can completely empathise with the mini-wool-doll’s clothes that come out of the tumble drier. it’s kind of a mixed bag of disappointment because your favourite jumper is destroyed and also the hillariousness of how teeny weeny it is!

    • Thanks, P. I prefer character in most things (not the phone or computer, though) πŸ˜‰

      I still haven’t felted the slippers; you’ll know why soon . . . it’s a great pattern, very easy to do while chatting or watching tv.

      Any other item, I would have laughed. Too bad that baby shawl would have been his only hand-made heirloom . . . I did make his baby gowns by hand and embroider the yokes, but they’ve been in storage (unplanned) for years and are not likely worth passing down now. These days, if I accidently shrank/felted something, I’d know to use the felted bit to make something. I loved Narf7’s idea of using a felted sweater to cut and sew into slippers.

      • Re-purposed shrunken wool as slippers sounds very cosy πŸ™‚ I would love to try to make a quilt for my sister’s new home. That will be my new crafting project for 2015.

      • They do sound cosy, P.
        Depends on your cutting and sewing skills, but simple quilts are not hard to make. What I’m planning on is simple design, more like the early quilts meant to use/re-use scraps and old clothes, etc. Colour will be the main thing for me. I wish I had time to learn the fancy patterns, but I don’t. There are some amazing quilts around these days, aren’t there?

  4. The rocker and desk are both very lovely Linne. We have a desk Roger’s father made, he was a carpenter and while it’s not an antique but very vintage we both love that we have something he made. You made me laugh with the story of the shawl – not that it’s funny but it reminded me of my own carelessness. When 15 and pregnant with my first son (unmarried and not about to be married) my parents had a boarder living with us, a young man who proposed to me so I wouldn’t have to raise a baby alone. I said no but was truly grateful to him. He helped me knit a baby jacket but one day didn’t wash his hands first and got grease on it. So, as soon as it was finished I chucked it in a hot wash to remove it and yes, it came out tiny and I was so disappointed.
    Wool is so expensive here now, I stopped knitting years ago when it got too dear.

    • You are lucky to have that desk, Wendy. I would take imperfect hand made over store-bought or machine-made any day. A good part of my ‘stuff’ consists of things like that. When I was younger I read so many books where there were family houses and furnishings and I longed for a home like that. But life took me down another path. I’m hoping to find loving homes for it all this summer. I will take pictures, though.

      Too bad about that wee jacket. I’m glad I’m not the only one, but still . . . you were so young! But I was 19 and very young myself. We didn’t grow up so fast then, between no tv and stronger family and cultural influences. I am grateful every day that I was born then and not later . . .

      Wool is expensive everywhere now. Once my stash of not-wool yarns is used up or given away, I plan to save for wool and stick to making things for me; there’s always sewing . . .

      • Ah, life!! Too many curve balls in it. You will find that a sad task Linne.
        Yes, I am glad I grew up when I did too, I don’t envy today’s children, they are growing up so differently and far too quickly.
        You must be moving soon, a couple of weeks isn’t it?

  5. Enjoy that circular knitting Linne. I am much more adventurous in crocheting now BUT knitting is another beast entirely. Love that tooled leather seat and when my nana died, my relatives threw out her 4 post heavy oak bed at the rubbish tip and a lot of her heavy wooden furniture. Goes to show that stupidity reigned in our not too distant past on both sides of the world 😦

    • Narfie, it’s not circular knitting this time; I often use circular needles as any weight is then on my lap, not my wrists and if there are lots of stitches the work doesn’t slide off. For me, being able to work on two pieces (sleeves, pockets, etc.) is best. Sizes are the same and any variations from the pattern aren’t forgotten on the second bit.

    • I could cry at the thought of that oak (OAK!!) bedstead . . . there’s so much of that thinking these days; I will never get it . . . we should be treasuring things that will last instead of competing to build the highest landfill. Beyond stupid and short-sighted. (signed, Old Fogey)

      • We should be passing the knowledge onto the (clueless) younger generation who think that K.F.C. is “food” and who spend most of their lives eating it in front of the biggest television that they can afford (or put on credit), watching (STUPID!) “reality” television that bears NO resemblance at all to any actual form of reality. That’s what we are handing the world over to…SHUDDER! Signed Old Fogey in training πŸ˜‰

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I look forward to reading your comments. ~ Linne

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