Monday, May 2, 2011

Needlework kits, remembered

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When I was a girl, I had two fantastic old fashioned aunts.  They were my grandma’s sisters—one was a retired schoolteacher, and the other was a farmer’s wife.  They did their laundry on wash day with a wringer and a clothesline; they knew how to tat; they knew how to make cookies without a recipe.  They wore hairnets and brown lace up shoes and had the most incredible old-school dentures, which they would take out and show you. 

They gave me wonderful gifts—fancy rose-scented soaps in a box, pearl jewelry, first-hand knowledge of home canning, my first copy of Anne of Green Gables, and lots and lots of embroidery and needlepoint kits. 

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It was probably an easy thing to give a girl, but to a girl like me, it was the most perfect thing in the world.  The pattern was already printed on the fabric, the thread was all there, and it usually came with a needle, too.  You could just shove the wrapping paper to one side and start stitching.  Sadly, I have none of these sweet little artifacts anymore.  I am a haphazard saver of things, and sometimes am not sentimental enough, so I probably saw them at some point, with their grubby, messy beginner little girl stitches and threw them away. 

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This kit was in the bins at the thrifty craft store last week.  It was all there, including the needle.  It was dated 1982, but it has a total 70’s feel, so reminiscent of my Peter Frampton-based girlhood.  I had so much fun working on it, thinking of the old-fashioned aunts.  The most perfect gift for a girl like me.

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It’s vintage embroidery, but I made it myself.  How much better can it get?