Friday, July 16, 2010

Progress? Not

Well 2 rounds have been done—so there is some progress—not so much as you'd actually notice.

The northeast is experiencing its second heat wave (defined as 3 days in row of +90° weather) of the month—and I try to get something accomplished each day (today—Laundry—4 loads! Washed, dried, folded, (but not yet put away))--but the heat makes everything a chore. For the good of my health, I walk (2 short blocks) to the pool, and immerse my self in the cooling waters—until I turn into a prune, and then some.

So today, instead of knitting, some fun.

Item 1—most (all, really I expect) know this tool. A darning egg—please note, I have never, ever used this.

Item 2—photographed with item 1 for scale—have you ever seen one of theses? Do you know what it is? Can you guess?

Its a darning egg for glove fingers... I have only ever (till now) knit 1 pair of full gloves (fingerless glove—a dozen or more, but full gloves.. 1 pair. And if I don't darn socks, you can be damn sure, I don't darn commercially knit gloves!

Item 3 –this one stumped me—at first I thought it was a pillow lace bobbin.. but the shaft is not really the right shape for a bobbin., and there was only 1, and finally, there is not a tradition of lace making in the family.
Besides, the tip is quite pointed (and somewhat sharp).

It's really ivory –and likely from New Bedford and whale ivory (this artifact is from my ex husbands family and most of them lived in Fall River, but some lived in New Bedford (in the 1800's, the whaling capital of the world.) Fall River is just about 15 miles west of New Bedford—and all three were found together in his paternal grandparents house (abandon by the rest of the family. The branch of the family that moved to NYC. )

Well, it's not a bobbin. It's an awl of sorts, to make holes in lawn--(the fabric) that were then embroidered to make eyelet lace--from the time when eyelet lace was not made by machines! And like the other 2 tools, is just one of a collection—never used. (by me)

I have a fourth, antique from my ex husbands family (the oldest branch, on his mothers side, that goes back to the Mayflower. My family is still immigrating—me and siblings were born here, but there are cousins and in laws with green cards, (and some with out)) my kniddy knoddy—which I do use.

I ended up with the tools, because I found them interesting and valuable. The darning eggs might not be 'real' (over 100 years old) antiques—and might date from sometime in the early 1900's—but its hard to tell. They are in pristine condition—I am not the first in the family to NOT darn!--Its pretty uncommon to see darning eggs for gloves--but what do I know--they might have been common as recently as the 1950's!

6 comments:

Terri said...

Darning can be fun. I have darned a couple pairs of slippers that I have crocheted. Patched up a few sweaters that I could not part with in the past, too. They could be used to decorate a shelf if you aren't going to use them. That is what I plan to do once our house is done. Use some of my crafting supplies so I don't have to dig everything out. Can see my walls full of looms, drop spindles, and vases with my harmony knitting needles(on a shelf of course. Absolutely lovely!

mhbergner said...

I remember my mother teaching me how to darn socks when I was young (1950's). In those days you couldn't buy a bag of socks at Wal-Mart for next-to-nothing. It really works wonderfully! I've never seen the glove "egg" - cool!

Sue said...

WHOA! I have been reading your blog for several months now and imagine my surprise when you mentioned New Bedford and Fall River! I live in Swansea which is halfway between Fall River and Providence, RI! It sure is a very SMALL world! LOL

Experimental Knitter said...

Those are too cool. Just bought a darning egg for socks but nowhere near as lovely as yours.

Virginia said...

Ooh, really cool tools. I like!

gayle said...

My grandmother showed me how to darn socks, but my mother's approach was to say "Darn you, socks" as she dropped them in the trash.