Saturday, June 16, 2007

Piccys to share

I have been sorting through Rene`s photos, many of course meant nothing to me but there were some there that brought back a few memories, and some which I really wanted to share with you. The first two show just what a talented lady she was and how she combined her artistic and creative flairs, (and also how her fanciful ideas didn`t alway match reality). Seeing these photos reminded me that she had hoped to make a living from designing, knitting (herself) and selling these...

Aren`t they fantastic? But needless to say, there was no way she could sell them at a price that realistically represented the time (and talent) taken to produce them, so after this first sample batch, her idea fell by the wayside - I`ve no idea what became of the samples, more`s the pity.
Moving on, and away from knitting I found these next two.....

Me aged about 5
Living on a farm, each year either we, or one of our two neighbours would end up with a lamb who was either orphaned, or rejected by it`s mother - commercially, hand rearing a lamb was not a viable proposition so our neighbours were happy to pass on the burden and a concientious sheep mad child makes a reasonably good substitute mother, so not a year went by without me taking on the role, and getting up early for the morning feed, and dashing home from school to tend to my little charge. I`m sure Mum must had done the midday and late night feed too, but I felt so responsible and proud when my little lamb grew up, that I don`t remember that bit. Strangely enough though I cared for them I never grew so attached that I it came as a shock when they went to market in the autumn. Perhaps I always knew they were mine for a while to prepare for the big wide world - a bit like a parent really.

Christmas in the `70s with Rene back right and me front left
- don`t you just love my dress!

Being an only child, Mum used to let me have not only a birthday party, but a Christmas party too! We weren`t well off, so the parties weren`t grand, but they were always very popular and in the run up to the invites going out, the girls at school were always nice to me! I think the reason they were keen to come was the fact that they were very traditional, jelly and icecream type, and the brilliant party games were organised and run by Rene, while Mum did the food. Living on the farm, we played the games in our bungalow, while food was organised in Nan`s farm house and at the given time we all traipsed across the farmyard to eat, then back to ours for a final game of pass the parcel to settle down before home time. Living quite a way out, Mum acted as taxi, and we piled into the back of the van and sung songs at the top of our voices gradually quietening down as each child was dropped off until only Mum and I remained to sing our way back home.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Teenagers are so ungrateful!

In amongst Rene`s books, I came across this lovely old one - The Pictorial Guide to Modern Home Knitting - sadly without a date, but judging by the hair dos, everyone I have shown it to suggests the 1940`s.

As DD has been wanting a new bikini, I showed her this picture...

but strangely enough, she didn`t want me to knit her one - even though I offered to let her choose the colour, and though in need of some new under garments, she only laughed when I suggested making her this.....

Honestly, teenagers are so ungrateful these days :-)

Saturday, June 02, 2007

A tribute to Rene

I have just had the unenviable task of clearing the nursing home room of an elderly family friend. Her room was up two flights of stairs, and it completely amazed me how much stuff one little old lady could fit in such a small room - it was touch and go if I would get it all (no furniture I hasten to add) into DH`s car. Thank goodness I took his and not mine! As I have had little contact with her over the past few years, it wasn`t as emotionally difficult as it could have been until I came across things that I had made her many years ago and letters I had sent, all of which she had kept. After all the packing and running up and down stairs, I was physically shattered by the time I had loaded the car, and then part way home it suddenly dawned on me that I had the whole of someones life in my car - and I had to pull over and compose myself.

She was a very talented artistic lady who loved painting, music and knitting. She was also rather eccentric and I often look back with fondness to a time when aged about 7 I found a dead mole (courtesy of my cat) and Rene (then 40+) and I decided to give it a burial - she dressed the part of the priest using a long white nightie from my dressing up box and we paraded through the house chanting prayers - much to the consternation of the builder working on our fireplace!

Amongst her possessions I came across bags and bags of knitted items and wool. I knew many years ago she used to knit for charity, and this was obviously what it was, after searching and sorting I now have
All of these little jumpers
ready to go
and these that just need
sewing up or the ends darning in
bottom right are 42 squares to turn into a blanket. I will finish them all off in due course and send them on their way. I don`t know which charity she intended them for, but I am sure she would be pleased to know that they will be benefiting children somewhere. I also have 4 carrier bags of yarn ( all acrylic) and a couple of unfinished sweaters to frog, plus sadly there were a few beyond redemption, but safe to say I will have no need to buy acrylic for my charity knits for a VERY long time.
And just to show you how talented an artist she was, here are a couple of her pictures, which she painted about 10 years ago
Scotney Castle
Lamberhurst, Kent

Sunset on Ditchling church,