Friday, March 23, 2007

A tale of woe ...

... but not mine this time.

At a garage sale yesterday I found this for a dollar:

It's a knitted counterpane, made by the great-grandmother of the husband of the woman who sold it to me. His sister put it in the washer & dryer. Can you imagine?

She also told me that it was made of handspun cotton that had been grown on her husband's great-grandparents' farm, but I don't think that's true. The yarn is a four ply, and I just can't imagine a handspinner doing that. Maybe the great-grandparents grew cotton, and maybe she spun some of it, but I don't think this is where it ended up.

Here you can see the pattern & the damage a little clearer. It is a very simple pattern -- a leaf in one corner, ridges in the other. Most of the damage is just the seams coming apart, although some of the squares are in bad shape, too. And the edging is pretty much trashed. There's enough left to figure out the pattern but not enough to salvage.

I'm thinking of taking the squares apart and reassembling them. Maybe a crib blanket and a little pillow? Who knows when I'll get around to it -- but I just couldn't pass it by. I've had Mary Walker Phillips' book for about 15 years now, and this is the closest I've gotten to knitting a counterpane!

I can't decide if this is some kind of cosmic warning about not putting too much time & effort into a project -- look how this one ended up! -- or just a cosmic reminder to attach cleaning instructions to a finished project. Either way it's sobering. (Or maybe there's nothing cosmic about it, and this is just one more falling-apart textile that I've hauled home, with no Inner Meaning. You think?)

(P.S. Some folks have asked about my weaving project. I'm slogging on but it's kind of depressing to write about now. I'll post either when things are going well or when they're going Really Really Badly. Right now it's just tedious.)

1 comment:

Rosemary said...

Have you counted how many of the squares are still intact enough to be constructed into the new blanket?