December Musings 2020

I trust you enjoyed your Thanksgiving feast and scaled down celebrations close to home. At this holiday season, many people are taking a closer look at their home and refresh or replace comfort items, especially since we now spend more time here. New flannel sheets and warm blankets fit the bill for me!

In my restoration business I see that same phenomena. In November I worked on warm items versus the customary lace restorations; in fact, it was ripple afghan month!

Several years ago, a customer trusted me with a very involved restoration of a treasured baby blanket. The original blanket had suffered immense damage over the years and although I seldom turn down a prospective customer, it was my immediate reaction to do just that when I saw the image she sent.

After my initial hesitation she explained the importance of the request. We agreed that I would try to find new yarn in a color blend as close as possible to the remaining original piece, remove any unusable loose ends and incorporate the strongest existing section with the new material. I agreed to do the work, it gave me the opportunity to create an almost new blanket with a section of the original piece still very noticeable. My customer was thrilled!

Now, several years later, same happy customer was facing a dilemma. The original section of the blanket had separated from the newer part and again, her blanket was in need of attention.

At that point I suggested to re-create the actual original blanket. I asked my customer to pick out the material that felt right to her. I wanted to use the previous blanket, which contained a part of the original, as a pattern. My customer agreed and happily purchased baby yarn for our project. Several days later I received the yarn and the previously restored blanket. It was well loved and back in tatters, but with it as a guide I was able to create a brand-new blanket with the look, feel and characteristics of the vintage original.

Presto, a new creative category was born. I call it Re-Creation. All I need is the original (or a very good image of it) to create a precise copy of any crochet piece. The biggest challenge here is to find a close color match in just the right material.

This was fun and so rewarding! I am adding Re-Creation to my list of things that I do.

A few days later a gentleman from Ohio sent me an image of a ripple afghan his mom had made long ago using all his favorite colors. At that time she mixed wool with acrylic to create the perfect palette, but when washing the piece, the wool sections felted together and pulled the afghan out of shape. He inquired if there was anything I could do about the problem and I proposed to remove the felted section and replace it with old-fashioned, somewhat rough acrylic to match the original yarns used. Red Heart Super Saver and Walmart store brand come very close to the feel I wanted.

I removed the shrunken section, worked the ripple pattern for several inches and reconnected it to the original piece. The customer also asked if I could add a few more rows to the purple replacement section and maybe add a new tangerine section on the top, which I did and it added about 10 more inches to the overall length. This beloved family favorite is now back in use and long enough for a tall fellow to enjoy.

The middle of November was supposed to be my next demo time at the Folk Art Center. Unfortunately someone there tested positive for the virus and the Gallery was closed for a week, so I missed my opportunity to go back and see friends and customers. However, just a few days ago the gallery manager contacted me to bring in several of my pieces for a new baby corner they are creating. I was happy to meet with her and see many of our employees and a gallery filled with happy shoppers. We chose baby sweaters, hair bands, baby bottom bundles, hats, booties and my rattles for a lovely display just in time for the holidays.

Now I am ready for my Christmas decorating! We start with bringing home the perfect tree, then I decorate the house with thousands of clear lights, fresh greens, treasures from the old country and new acquisitions.

We are looking forward to another quiet month of hibernation; reading, cooking, baking and staying in touch with family and friends through e-mails and Zoom.

I wish you piece in your corner of the earth and goodwill to all.

Whatever you wish for yourself this holiday season, I wish for you too!

“I do what I love and I love what I do.”