Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Needlework Memories

This morning on the way to work I started thinking about how I first became interested in needlework. It wasn't from my mother because she never did needlework except when she was much younger. Something must have changed for her after she grew up and got married. She was never interested in any kind of needlework after that. What I would give to have all those pieces she embroidered as a young girl. I really grieve over that sometimes. I really love heirloom pieces and especially something that my mother might have embroidered or made. It makes me sick to think that somewhere down the line someone who was going through some things after a death, just carelessly threw them away or gave them away.

I first became interested in needlework when I was in junior high school in Home Ec class. They called it Home Economics back then. I don't know what they call it now, or if they even have such a thing. One day I went into class and I saw a good friend of mine making an afghan. It was white daisies and she was crocheting them together. I was immediately intrigued and knew this looked like something I might be interest in, so I told her how beautiful I though it was and asked her if she would show me how to make it. She did, and I went on to make one and I even showed my grandmother how to make one. She ended up making a bedspread size.

Back then in the mid to late 60's everything was daisies and granny squares. To make this afghan you had a small round daisy loom that had little spokes sticking up all around it. You wound your yarn around and made a daisy flower and then you made a center for it. So what you would have is a white flower and a red center. You would make lots and lots of these daisies and, the best I can remember, you would crochet them together using a chain stitch. You could also have a yellow daisy with a dark green center and crochet them together with a darker contrasting color. They were very pretty. I've seen a few daisy looms recently, but not quite in the same shape. The ones I saw had a more square shape. I think I've seen them in some catalogs like maybe Herrschners or something like that. I did a Google search this morning and what do you know, I guess they still make them. The only difference is that this one is blue and mine was yellow, which was a popular color back then.

The sad part is that over the years I lost the daisy loom and I also can't find the afghans that I made or the one my grandmother made. It was given to me when she died and I can't find either one of them. I think they are probably packed away somewhere, but I've moved so many times over the years, I fear they may have accidentally been given away. I guess that doesn't say a whole lot for someone who is supposed to value heirlooms, does it?

Maybe I'll buy a daisy loom and make a small afghan using today's colors, just for old times sake.

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