A long post about old stuff and memories

My mum’s aunt died a short while ago, and my mum was invited to go see if there were any of her things she wanted. One of the things my mum brought home was a wooden chest which her uncle had hand-carved. Inside it was a multitude of crafty things. Lots of knitting needles, sewing threads (unfortunately, mum’s aunt was a heavy smoker, so those were useless), buttons and crochet hooks. Which I nabbed of course, what with my new-found love of crocheting! And although I didn’t know my mum’s aunt that well, it is nice to think that I’m using her crochet needles now.

The big wood thing is a snoregaffel (‘string fork’) which is used to make… well, string with. I haven’t quite figured out how to do this, the instructions are a bit vague. But apparently, the use of this was widespread in the old days, and a Danish princess made a similar tool while she was in prison, so I think it’s kinda fun to make something the same way as one of my favourites of Danish history. Once I learn to do it, anyway. ;-)

The metal thing in the middle is a ‘gimpenål’ used for crocheting. I don’t know the word for it in English, but the Danish word is “gimpning” or hairpin crocheting (maybe this is the English word for it?), because in the old days people would use hairpins to do this. The result is a crocheted ‘ribbon’ in the middle with long loops on both sides, the length of the loops depending on the width of the gimpenål.

I like getting to know more of these old techniques; it makes me feel connected to the women in my family. Both the ones I’ve known and the ones I haven’t. It annoys me a bit that there are so many books out there with the title along the lines of “not your grandma’s [insert craft here]”. But it IS their craft! We’re all the same, we just make different things and (sometimes) for different reasons. But there really is no difference. And I have no doubt that the next generations of crafters will think that what we’re doing is hopelessly aged and boring.

My paternal grandma (farmor) was one heck of a crafty lady. I don’t think there’s a craft she hadn’t tried and mastered (at least to some degree!). I just regret that I wasn’t into it when she was still alive. I did do some things with her, but I was very young then and probably didn’t appreciate it that much. I do remember making a pincushion for my mum with her help. I cross stitched it and farmor put it together. My mum still has that pincusion!

Actually, I think farmor deserves a whole post to herself. But not now, cause now I want to get back to my ripple blanket! Which I’ve blogged about on the Ripple Along community blog (there are some seriously awesome ripples going on over there!), I’ll do a post about it here soon.


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