"I have never felt that anything really mattered but the satisfaction of knowing that you stood for the things in which you believed and had done the very best you could." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Uncovering the Past

Well, yesterday I promised that I would be adding some of my older unfinished objects to the queue to finish.  I went out to the garage, where a year later some of my belongings still linger, to bring in a wicker picnic basket that must be almost thirty years old by now.  I know that it was purchased at the Garden Ridge Pottery location on Fry Road.  I remember purchasing it when we still lived in an apartment off Westchase and Westpark shortly before Stephanie was born.

I remember this because I was very pregnant and was only able to work half days, as Stephanie was in a huge hurry to get out and see the world and the doctor was afraid that my job as a teller would not keep her in the "oven" long enough to be ready to greet the awaiting public.  I vividly remember driving from the Galleria on I10 to Fry Road.  It seemed like it took days to get there and that was long before the Katy Freeway had a ton of lanes and much development to speak of.  I was not supposed to be shopping but I needed a few things before she popped out and I wanted this basket to keep my craft projects safe from little exploring babies..

I brought the basket in last night after I had carefully cleaned it off outside and made certain that there were no surprises inside.  Especially spiders, as I HATE them and would have screamed bloody murder if one had popped out.  This morning while I was waiting for the coffee to be ready and the "fog" to lift, I decided to take a peek inside to see what I had placed inside all these years ago and never ventured back to finish.  I was surprised and a bit sentimental, but then that is normal for me.  The irony of all this is that I can't figure out how the basket and it's contents survived five moves completely intact and I never once looked inside to see what it could possibly contain.  I just trusted that there were craft projects inside and kept moving it.  It moved from the apartment to the house on Vickery in Sugar Land.  It moved from Sugar Land to Vanwood in Houston.  It moved from Vanwood to Northrup, also in Houston.  It moved from Northrup to Rolido, my apartment in Houston.  And finally it moved from Rolido to Pearland.  All these years and three projects lie dormant.

I lifted the lid and the first thing I saw was All Sweaters in Every Gauge by Barbara Goldstein.  As was my custom, it was marked purchased August 07, 1985.  Below it was Kid's Knits by Lesley Anne Price.  Below that was Learn to Knit by Coats and Clark (Book Number 190-B).  This was my first "knitting" guide and it was a gift from my Aunt Pat.  It was purchased at TG&Y in Memphis the year before I graduated from High School on a visit to my grandparents' house.  I looked further still at the contents.  I saw a canvas bag that I had almost given up hope of every locating.  Don't laugh, I know that all of us have some item that we know we had but seemed to have misplaced.  Go ahead and admit it, you will feel better.

The bag was not really all that valuable, but it was one of a series that I had hand painted with fabric paints in the very late 80's.  I had made three.  One for Stephanie with Unicorns on it.  One for Megan with bunnies on it. And one for me with hearts and flowers on it.  I know that both girls still have theirs.  Stephanie uses it for quick shopping trips with Zoe.  Megan uses hers as a tote for work with her book, lunch and a camera always inside.  Mine had been MIA.  Carefully I pulled out the contents.  Was I in for a surprise.  Inside was One full skein of WonderArt Christmas Knitting Yarn and another skein attached to a crocheted work in progress.  Both skeins had been purchased from Woolworth in Meyerland for a whopping $1.19 per skein (plus applicable sale tax at that time).  Can all the Houston natives remember that one?  The sad part of this piece is that there are no notes.  It looks simple enough so I'm sure I can figure it out.  I believe that it was just a random pattern picked out of The Pattern Library Crochet.  Why do I think this?  For years there has been a random piece of paper on page 32 and the Parquet stitch looks to be the culprit of this project.  Looking at this book, I too am reminded of things long ago.  This was purchased at Coles on November 03, 1983, and the store price tag shows that they received it on September 01, 1983 and that I purchased it for $4.95 (plus applicable tax at that time).  Looks like a quick finish and it mat be one of the items I take to jury duty with me.

The next bag I pulled out is a plastic one that appears to have been on a curtain of some kind but for the life of me I can't recall what.  Inside was the most precious baby sweater.  It is pink with red hearts duplicate stitched across the entire yolk and the insets of the sleeves.  There are also matching booties that were finished.  The sweater was finished except for the buttons.  Inside the bag are two packages of 9/16" buttons.  They are the cutest red hearts.  Looks like I will be threading a needle and finishing this today.  I don't recall the pattern I used but I am certain that the yarn is Red Heart Baby Sport but I have no way to remember.  I do know that this was made for Megan.  Obviously I never finished it in time for her to wear.  As such, it will be finished, lovingly hand washed and blocked out to dry, and then carefully stored until she has a baby.

The last bag inside is a curtain bag from JC Penney that I vividly remember.  It is a Castlebridge II Panel bag ( W80 x L63) in Smoke Blue (No.22).  These were the panels that hung in the living room in the house in Sugar Land.  I paid $38.00 for the contents according to the still present price tag.  Inside I discovered two unused skeins of Unger Fluffy and one skein attached to the size 7 US needles.  I also discovered the the back and left side to the project.  I vividly remember this one.  It is the Ballerina from pages 84 and 85 of the Kid's Knit book.  The book was purchased January 12, 1985, so Stephanie was already born but I was not quite pregnant with Megan.  I am fairly confident that I was making this for Stephanie, as her dad was just certain that she would be the most famous ballerina in all the world and she had never even taken a class.  She was two when I started this and I was making the Size 6.  According to the size chart in the book, that equals what would be worn by a 4 to 5 year old.  Apparently I was giving myself plenty of time to get it finished and get her into ballet classes.  She did take dance classes from the time she was five and up until she was fifteen.  But at 5'11" she was never destined to be a famous ballerina and agreed that it had been her dad's dream not hers.  It appears that I have a little less than five inches to finish the right front and then make two sleeves before I can soak, block and assemble this one.  I also have notes that there is enough yarn to make the matching leg warmers.  Good news for me is that I can get this finished in time to allow Zoe to be able to enjoy it.

So, I will be able to quickly dispense of three unfinished projects and then forge ahead to the next container....I'm not sure if I even want to ponder that at this point.

There has been other knitting in progress and I will be taking pictures this week.  I will post about them, complete with pictures, before the week ends.

Temptations will follow later....back to work....


Knittymuggins said...

Oh goodness, you sound just like me! I have boxes and bags of things around that I keep looking at but not really looking inside. I tend to stash WIP's in random places and forget about them but I am also in the process of finding them and hopefully laying them to rest or finishing them up so that they no longer plague my thoughts. Right now I have an entire plastic storage tub (a huge one) dedicated entirely to UFO's (the ones I've been able to find!), WIP's & soon to be started projects. It feels good to have them all corralled like that. I remember us talking about that Kids' Knits book once too as I bought a copy at Goodwill and you mentioned you'd knit some things from it. How funny that you've now redisovered it :)

Can't wait to see the finished items! And good for you for getting them out :)


Amy said...

I can't wait to see those UFOs!

I have to make myself only work on a couple of things at once - no more than five. It can get ugly. LOL