Of Ephemera, And Death, and Jumble Sales

– which sounds an unpromising combination – but hearken.

We were dropping some things off today at a jumble sale. (Yes, Akela, I will man a stall next time *slinks away apologetically*) The joy of delivering things is you get to see the goodies. Mum – who is the demon knitter, in sobriety, even if she makes up in zeal with what she lacks in accessories – found a lovely box full of knitting needles of all shapes and sizes.

Accompanying it was a bag with a half-finished pullover. Sadly the wool was beautiful, but unbranded, and there wasn’t enough knitting to work out what it was going to be.

And in the box, under the stitch holders and the counters and the needle caps and all the ephemera of a lifetime of knitting, there were seven or eight beautiful crochet hooks – engraved, tiny, delicate, shapely crochet hooks, sized to craft butterfly wings and carved with flowers and curlicues.

It was the collection of someone who had spent a lifetime making things – probably of the vintage we don’t see any more, of crochet doilies and tray cloths and itchy knit mittens. A bygone era. And, I think, a bygone knitter, who had laid down her needles one day on a half-finished pullover and never picked them up again. A competent craftswoman, judging by the variety of accessories and sizes and their assorted ages.

I hope someone is going to buy that jumper and finish it and love it.

I think someone owes it to that unknown craftswoman, who collected her needles and tools from the engraved iron days of her girlhood through enamel and shiny smooth grey metal and space-age plastic, to the day she finally set it down unfinished.

And now I just need to learn to crochet….

 

One thought on “Of Ephemera, And Death, and Jumble Sales

  1. That was a lovely description, and it made me sad, thinking about the lady who left it. Did she die? Did she just stop because she couldn’t see? So many left-over things that make up a life left behind. But it’s also why I like Jumble shops. If we are very lucky, we can give things a new life.

    Like

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