title from: The Gas Man Cometh – Flanders and Swann
and a Happy New Year
Pottering and rootling
We’re still here but this virus that’s doing the rounds has had us both pretty much knocked out; up and down for weeks, but in the ‘up’ moments, dazed but still full of umph, we’ve tried to do whatever we thought we were up for, as you do.
Over the 50 odd years I’ve carted hoarded wools and yarns around with me from place to place I’ve mostly worked my way through it or passed it on – I say mostly. Or at least I thought I had.
Not trusting self to be up for more ‘delicate’ work, I set a general aim of resurrecting a sewing space (out of what’s left of my puppet making workspace) where I might be able to house the current old sewing machine, instead of it hiding it in a corner of another room. I knew it was going to be more of an archaeological exercise than anything else as all of the remaining 3 metres square, along with any remains from the puppet and bag making eras, had been topped up and totally smothered by the sort of large cardboard boxes that ‘have to be kept’, bags of decorating coveralls for furniture and floors (enough to protect 5 houses I swear!) caravan cable, screen wash and antifreeze, old window blind inners – you get the general idea. Time to get down to some digging out and chucking whilst on a healthy ‘up wave’.
Trying to keep busy in the ‘down’ of the wave, I encased mother’s 30s through to 50s knitting patterns in the pockets of an A3 folder along with what remaining iron-on embroidery transfers I’ve bought throughout the years.
Once the boxes were winkled out (a job for both of us) I set about re-siting all other large objects, not needed on the sewing journey, in a handy cupboard elsewhere – which, of course, meant sorting and dealing with the things already in said cupboard first, including a load of guess what, yes yarns. As well as loose yarns skulking in the sewing area and the cupboard there were plenty more totally elsewhere in a blanket box along with sewing patterns and magazines. Oh, joy!
It took a few sessions to get as far as sorting the hoard into just one hidey-hole. I’m pleased to say that amongst the whole lot there is only one started/not finished wool item, one ditto crochet and one further ditto tatted, all of which surprised me ‘cos I anticipated much worse. All three looked more or less from the same ‘period’ as far as I can recall, as though life had been overtaken at some point in the 90s by an all-embracing event, leaving these efforts high and dry.
Ah, remember now, ’twas when I started Further Ed. teaching. Time all eaten up by prep, delivery and travel – so it goes.
Sum-total of effort to-date: – large and obliging cupboard sorted (except the quite large middle shelf that has S’s items on it) and all bought sewing patterns (not homemade, those I chucked out), all knitting needles, all very old knitting machine literature (must get rid of that), all 70s, 80s and 90s knitting patterns plus a few yarn magazines and most of the yarns I’d decided to keep – sorted more or less by ply – are all, yes all, in the blanket box.
And the rest? I’m about to pass on to charity all the ex-mill yarn hanks (lovely and greasy as they are) as there is no way I’m spending time washing and balling these and I’ll never use them.
What wouldn’t fit in? The cotton and cotton look-alike yarns mostly for crochet and tatting – these will have to go back to a cubbyhole in the ‘sewing’ space for the moment, along with the wools suitable for mini figure hair/animals etc.
Am I likely to knit or weave again? Not sure. It’s possible I might do some inkle loom lengths. So why keep any yarn? Well it’s probably sentiment – too big a move to get rid of all at one go. But we’ll see.