Thursday, April 17, 2008

a time to talk...or, the good that has come from the internets

A Time to Talk
by Robert Lee Frost

When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don't stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven't hoed,
And shout from where I am, 'What is it?'
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.

I sat at an educational meeting yesterday, while people who had learned their ABCs in earlier decades discussed how different were the ways that young people learned these days and I thought immediately of my multi-layered life and my friends flung far and wide around this earth.

In an evening's time I can learn a new technique for knitting in six colours, celebrate a friend's birthday in Germany, discuss teaching with an international group of educators, obtain (for free!) an ancient needlework pattern, comfort a friend and be comforted by one, meet several new people who may become friends, listen to, view, and share thoughts on music and art, trade tea and recipes, join in on a group meditation, and go shopping. My life is not "get up, go to work, come home, watch TV..." Instead, like so many of us, my life has become a world-wide open life because of growing up learning to use the internets in a safe, multi-layered, intricate, and interactive way.

Okay. I could have just said... "I'm on Ravelry."

I'm so happy about all the opportunities that knowing my way around the internets has brought me, not the least of which are the people I've met. My New England state is small. But my world is huge and getting bigger every day.

One of my new friends from Canada sent me a "Happy International Crochet Month" gift:


Isn't it wonderful? It's hand made from wood and hand-painted in the cutest way! You cannot imagine how handy this is for the countless second-hand crochet hooks that I collect that don't have the size on them, either because they are so old that they were never marked, or because they are so old that any marks that were there have long since worn off! Thank you Melanie! I'll bet people will want to know where you got this, so they can have one too. :)

And speaking of vintage crochet hooks makes me think of those booklets I picked up at the charity shop...

They are all interesting, but a most rare one is the Red Cross Charity Knitting Pamphlet in the upper left corner. This one-page flyer is for a simple "Brooks-type Sweater", meaning the 40's NY Brooks Brother's shop that popularized the crew-neck saddle shoulder pullover. This simple knitted sweater of Shetland wool was considered by the Red Cross in WWII to be perfect for war refugees from toddler on up through adults, because it was durable, warm, the Shetland fiber made it water resistant (they say), and there were no buttons to pop off. I do have other Red Cross Pamphlets of this same type for children's things and socks, and they are like a window to another age. You can see in the illustrative photo, a cart of war refugee children being tended by a Red Cross nurse, presumably as they are transported to a new shelter.

A couple of years ago, my friend Nad in Germany sent me a WWII German crochet hook made of bright red plastic. Like in America, all metals for needles and hooks were being diverted to the military, so tools began to be made from other materials. I want to use that great red vintage crochet hook to make something genuine from the same era!

And just a note on vintage patterns: Knit on the Net's newly updated book of vintage design A Stitch in Time, is scheduled to be available in September of 2008!! You can read about it by clicking on the title.


Kimberly Ann said...

Glad to find your blog. I'd love to see your crochet patterns. Vintage pieces (or vintage inspired) are my main interest.

Unraveling Sophia said...

Hi and Welcome! Back a ways in my blog I have some patterns posted....

CanarySanctuary said...

I apologize if this isn’t your thing, but I’ve tagged you! It’s the Seven Random Things about me meme. Check it out here.

Nad said...

I love the katatstix things- today a custom set for me arrived- but it is for my birhtday so it is all safely hidden by mum. :)

Melanie said...

I'm so happy you like it - I saw the hook sizer and thought of you. :) I'd be more than happy to share the name of the Etsy seller if you'd like.

Unraveling Sophia said...

I just found the maker of the lovely hook sizer on Etsy after Googling the name on the back. It's Karatstix, and she has so many wonderful items that she makes! Isn't it amazing when someone has such a gift and talent? Thank you again melanie for your present (You are the best gift-giver!) and for introducing me to this new Etsy seller!