The other day my mother handed me a bag of knitting wool.
Where it came from, I have no idea. My mother never knit; though her mother did. Her mother died in the late 1980’s, so I’m wondering if this mish-mash of “goodies” dates from over twenty years ago. Certainly the knitting patterns could have…
When DH saw the pattern on the left emerge out of the bag he asked “why is it called a Sirdar”? I told him that “Sirdar” was the name of the brand of wool. He told me that Sirdar was in fact
a) the name of level of native-born Indian Prince in the time of the British Raj and
b) the title given to the Commander-in-Chief of the British Army in Egypt.
This conversation was similar to a previous one that I had with DH, when I thought I had hit upon an interesting convergence between his interest (military history) and mine. I related to him that a stitch had been named after an English General, who had bemoaned the seams in soldiers’ socks. DH nearly had an apoplexy when he realised that I had never heard of Lord Kitchener in any other context. And just so as you know – because I certainly do now – Lord Kitchener has another knitterly connection: he was Sirdar in Egypt.
Looking through the contents of the rest of the bag, it could have been mine from ten years ago.
When I used to knit – before I recently re-discovering it in its new (r)evolutionary (re)form through the internet – my knitting M.O. went something like this: visit wool shop; browse their patterns and wool in stock; buy whatever pattern they also had the wool for in the shop; buy the wool and buy the needles too if necessary; knit pattern and keep any left-overs. Consequently, I moved house six times and a plastic bag of oddments moved with me. My Grandmother must have been a knitter with a similar M.O. because, sure enough, in the bag we’ve got the left-overs from each of the patterns pictured above: Yoko Chenille Cotton for the children’s cardigan and Tivoli SuperLite Chunky for the Women’s cardigan. If my Grandmother knit these, they must have gone to my cousins and aunt respectively, because I don’t remember ever seeing them before.
The bag did enclose a treasure after all. My mother – or perhaps her mother – had written a note…
… but when I turned it over I found that it was written on headed paper from my Grandfather’s Grocery Shop and Public House. It’s a bit small to read it all. On the top left it says “Memo from” in Gothic script. Under his name it says, in a Times-type font: “GROCER, TEA, WINE, SPIRIT AND PROVISION MERCHANT”On the top right it has their three-digit phone number. How high-tech were they? Having a phone was that era’s 3G Broadband, I guess.
We grew up with these sheets strewn and stashed in various places all over the house. We used them to draw and colour on; my mother used them to write notes on. I haven’t seen one in a long time, so this part of the package I will treasure – crumpled and torn though it is.
What to do with the rest of it posed a bit of a conundrum. After all, I still have my own bag of strange left-overs; not to mention several more bags of good stuff that I’ve acquired more recently. Then I reminded myself of a little plan that I hatched before Christmas. A plan that I have now even more reason to follow through on. I think I’ll save it for another post.
My recent competition generated quite a buzz for me, personally, as well has here on the blog. Such a good feeling, that I want to run one again soon. I’m going to wait until it’s my birthday, next month and no! the prize won’t be a recently acquired stash of random oddments!
In the meantime, someone else is having a birthday competition on her blog:
And this blog post constitutes my third entry, out of a possible four for me (since I’m not on Facebook).