Come in . . feel free to look around . . . . .

Good morning. I had fun yesterday writing about things on my bedroom wall. So I’m going on to show you, from time to time, some of my other little treasures.

The first thing you would see when you enter my front door is this small chest that looks like an antique but isn’t. I ran upon it in a furniture store when I was moving into this house and I said “Yes!”

On the wall above it is a grouping of oriental pictures I bought years ago from one of the quaint shops in Waikiki. Below that is a hand-painted bowl I’ve kept, not because it’s an antique but because it is pretty. And beside that is a treasure from childhood.

U;n sorry you must turn your head, but the picture refuses to turn.

When I was a child I spent a lot of time at my grandparents’ and years later, when they died, I was asked what I would like from their home. I chose this paperweight. It was always kept on the small table that held the radio, and I played with it when my grandparents listened to news, and I asked them lots of questions about the picture in the paperweight. It was of a log cabin in the woods and bore the words “Only house left from the Massacre of 1857.”

This became even more meaningful years later when MacKinley Kantor won the Pulitzer prize for his book Spirit Lake, which describes that massacre in excruciating detail. Kantor was from Webster City, Iowa, the country seat, a few miles from us.  (He wrote other great books too, like Andersonville.) Today his beautiful monument is just a few steps away from my grandparents’ gravestone in Webster City.

 

But the  real antique, and a priceless one, is in the frame to the left. It is a tiny set of wool mittens knit by an elderly great aunt many years ago. What makes these mittens unique is that they were knit on TOOTHPICKS.  In length they measure 2 ½ inches. Do you have any idea how difficult that would be?

I treasure something like this because I too was entertained by hand work through all my years. When I was eleven I hand crocheted antimacassars for chairs and sold 3-piece sets to the ladies in town for $11.00. In high school I knit myself a sweater and knit baby sweaters for gifts.

In high school I also knit a pair of maroon wool socks for my dad for Christmas. They were still in his top drawer when he died. He said they were too nice to wear. But they went on to fame. One year, when I was away in college, my mother entered them into the Iowa State Fair competitions, in her name. And my socks not only won first prize in the knit socks category but first prize in the entire knitting category. My mother claimed the credit and the prize money. I didn’t care. She was probably the one who had taught me how to do it.

From time to time I will show you some of my other handwork, and I want you to understand I am not bragging about these things. They were projects I kept busy with, and relaxed with, while others were out playing tennis, swimming, going to ball games.

Turns out the only thing athletic about me is my fingers!

 

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Betty
    Jun 15, 2017 @ 14:30:02

    Thanks for sharing these. I have some mittens that are similar and had a longer attachment that was supposed to go up one sleeve and down the other so that you could take one off and not lose it. Toothpicks were not used for the knitting, however!

    Reply

  2. Old Fat Man
    Jun 15, 2017 @ 17:24:46

    I would love to have athletic fingers. Thank you for sharing the memories.

    Reply

  3. Kathy
    Jun 16, 2017 @ 08:54:00

    Looking forward to more stories and pictures of the handiwork you have done.
    I still have my 3-piece dresser scarf set from you on my buffet…..and several other pieces….and I just love them…..not just for their exquisite beauty but because they have special meaning. Great memories from a great neighbor on Terrace Road!

    Reply

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