Monday, May 2, 2011

Needlework kits, remembered


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. 


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. 


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.


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