Monday, August 4, 2008

Old woollies 2

Maroon rug

My mother knitted and crocheted this blanket for me for my fiftieth birthday. It has knitted squares (knitted from the centre out) with crocheted edges to each square and a crocheted border. I suspect it was one of the last projects she made, as towards the end of her life she had a stroke-like condition that limited her fine motor skills.

maroon rug close-up

These are not colours I would choose for myself, nor do they particularly match the colours of my rooms, but until a couple of years ago the blanket was happily used as our main 'couch' blanket in the living room - burrowed into in winter by whoever felt the need to curl up on the couch. After some time I put it aside to mend the seams that were parting and to darn the single square that mysteriously seemed to have been attacked by moths and, like so much mending, it lingered...and the mending pile.

I've recently, finally, mended it, and in doing so have had another flood of memories of my mother and her knitting and my relationship with her.

And a nostalgic note about the couch in the first picture - it is part of a 'lounge suite', dating from a time when I had never heard the word 'couch'. My parents bought the seductively comfortable and bulky three-seater 'lounge' and two chairs, already second hand, when they were setting up house in 1947, after my father had returned from the second world war. I think the 'suite' must have been made sometime in the 1930s. I remember it from my childhood, covered in fern green and burgundy cut velour - kept for best in the front room. Later, my parents built a large living room and it was suitably recovered in yellow brocade. It was in this guise I eventually acquired the three pieces. They lived rather eccentrically with my mainly scrounged and Ikea furniture and survived my teenaged children. Some time ago I had them recovered in blue linen, which is now decidedly shabby.

They've been part of my life for all of my life.

1 comment:

M-H said...

Lovely post. Strangely, I was just describing my parent's 'lounge suite'' to Sandra the other day. It was green moquette, and was in the house when they bought it around 1950 - I'd say it was about the same age as the one you describe - and Mum covered it with a liberty print (dark green with huge yellow and white roses) in the 1960s. It had little wooden pull-out drawers on the ends of the arms to place your drink on, but these became inaccessible after the recovering, which my mother did herself with 'loose covers'. She went to an evening class to learn how to do this, and did a really good job. Of course I don't have any photos - they have both been dead more than twenty years and it wasn't the sort of thing you took a picture of then.