Wednesday, 9 October 2013

There was another packet

of patterns to go through yesterday. These were mostly crochet patterns. Quite a few of them dated from the 1950's. They are mostly made up of "motifs", small squares or rounds which have then been joined together to made table "runners", tablecloths, doyleys and the like. The instructions state they should be made in various weights of cotton, all of them fine.
It is not the sort of thing I could make. My paws are not that able but, even if I could, I would not bother. I do not know anyone, including myself, who would use such things. There must be people who do I suppose but the thought of laundering such things fills me with alarm. My late uncle objected to the "oil-cloth" on our kitchen table but it serves us well when the Senior Cat comes in covered in sawdust and other shed or garden detritus.
There were also patterns for other crochet items though. Some were for babies. No mother would use them now. They were made from wool of course. Imagine how uncomfortable they were if they were if not properly washed! Even well washed I wonder how comfortable they were against a baby's delicate skin. Perhaps babies were tougher when those garments were in use?
And there were other items too. There were the inevitable tea pot cosies and antimacassars, some snoods, men's ties, blouses for women and more. There was another book devoted to "prize winning yokes" intended for nightgowns and, perhaps, blouses.
They were, on the whole, fine and beautiful. I suppose they were also reasonably practical as they were mostly made from cotton. I have found other such books in the collection as well.
Last night I was talking to an elderly member of the Guild and I mentioned these things.
"Yes, people made time to make those things. I made all my own clothes back then. Now I just go and buy something. It isn't as satisfying even though it gives me more time to read."
At 86 perhaps she can be forgiven for buying ready-made but I wonder how many younger women have never experienced the satisfaction of making something. Many people say they don't have time but I note that Margaret said "make" time.
Perhaps we all need to make more time.


Helen Devries said...

I have a friend who is rediscovering the items she and her mother made...she says her eyes can no longer do the fine work...but for me, it is lovely to discover what she has done

catdownunder said...

Wonderful work Helen - the pansies, those small motifs and that flower spray are works of art!

jeanfromcornwall said...

I have a lovely photo of my Grandmother taken in the early 1950's, and she is sitting on a rock on the beach, wearing a smart jacket, and doing embroidery. That was it - you had a big handbag, and when when you went for a nice walk down to the seashore, your 'work' went with you.
She wouldn't ever come into our house on a Sunday, since my Mother knitted then, and she didn't like to see it. She would not knit on a Sunday herself, and really deserved the day off from it - she had had a husband and five children to clothe, and must have got so fed-up with grey socks!

jeanfromcornwall said...

P.S. I have just followed the link and found the beautiful crochet. Grandma did that as well, and I have a very few little bits - not much, because most of it was made to be sold at the Chapel Sale of Work. Needless to say, what I have is infinitely precious!