Saturday, 16 January 2010

An earlier generation's craft

An old lady from the lovely coastal town of Port Fairy in Victoria died recently. When her dearest were going through her worldly belongings, a stash of incredible notebooks full of craft patterns, ideas and other ephemera was discovered in an old hat box. Even though I didn't know her, looking at her carefully pasted patterns for doyleys, embroideries and crochet made me feel a sense of kinship with her.
This funny milkjug cover caught my eye: I had naively thought that novelty knitted/ crocheted objects (like these gorgeous Lark ones) were a contemporary invention.

"A Hot Soup is just what the children want this cold weather" though in 21st century Australia it's unlikely to be Rabbit and Macaroni or Kidney, is it?

Some of the transfers above are made up of tiny dots. I think they're very beautful.

The elegant lady rests after a hard day of turkey rug knotting. This is how we all look after a day of making things, don't we?
It's easy to forget that until fairly recently crafting was largely akin to the daily grind of washing and ironing: something women did because they had to, whether they enjoyed it or not. From knitting for the war effort above, to darning socks or re-making a new garment from old.
I wondered too, when going through this lady's notebooks, what a future generation might make of all of our crafting, our patterns and ideas. And what would the old lady from Port Fairy have thought of the way that we communicate ideas now via the internet? I hope she'd have liked my post.
Many thanks to my friend Jason for lending all of these things to me.
AND if you found this post interesting, have a look at this beautiful blog from Oregon: Unsung Sewing Patterns.


Esme said...

What a beautiful post. I think this lady (and many others like her) would have been very happy to know their skills were inspiring to another generation.

Sandra Eterovic said...

Hi Mrs Esme!! Thank you -- I'm glad you like it. I reckon they would be pleased too. :)