Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Tale for Christmas Eve

Once upon a time, long, long ago, in a land far away in the mists, the Linnet learned to knit.

Then I forgot.

But I must have learned as child, because when I went to learn to knit as an adult, 15 years ago or so, I already knew the motions. Like riding a bike, and all that.

Now as an adult I took to knitting like a swallow to the air and promptly got addicted, to the point that for Christmas that year, when Mom asked what I wanted, I asked for a set of those interchangeable needles - you know, like these.

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Well, lo, on Christmas morn, I did not find that set under my tree, nor any like it. Instead, I found this. A somewhat battered Christmas tin and a rolled-up bit of fabric with ribbons.

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Inside, I found these, plus the ones that live in my knitting bag now.

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And these.

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And these, plus lots and lots more circs I couldn't arrange nicely. These are only the very large and the very small.

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And this card. Which reads:

Dear Lynn,
Your present this year is not new - not old enough to be an antique - but not new. However you mustn't think of it as second-hand, but rather as an effort by the village elders to pass on the ancient tribal "arts and misteries".

One case was given to Dot Haviland [my mom's good friend] by her mother about 50 years ago. Since neither of her girls have expressed any interest, she has passed it on to you. Out of respect for its incredible purchase price ($28), Dot has never tied the ribbons [unlike me, of a badly behaved generation, who tied the ribbons immediately], but kept it closed with rubber bands. You will have to make your own personal and private decision - to-tie-or-not-to-tie.

The other "case" came with Christmas cookies from Grandma many years ago and has been my personal receptacle since then.

The contents of both cases are a collection from various "elders" of my acquaintance, my collection, and even a few new ones. Although it may seem an all inclusive collection, I'm afraid you will find that you never have the one you need. [True, so true.] At least, that has been my experience - but, perhaps a certain cynicism or fatalism comes with graying hair.

Mom & Dad

P.S. The check is for gorgeous wool or something for the boat!

Merry Christmas, everyone, and I hope you enjoy your presents as much as I've enjoyed this one!


Elizabeth said...

What a perfect gift!

DeltaDawn said...

Such a lovely gift - and story - and mom!

cathy said...

That's a lovely gift. It's nice to have a piece of family history like that.

bitterknitter said...

Such a sweet gift and story! I would have immediately tied the ribbons too :)

Manise said...

I found you via Etherknitter Laurie today. I had to comment though many weeks late, that when I cleaned out my mom's house after she died, I found the same collection of needles and crochet hooks that both she and my grandmother had used over the years. Right down to the plastic circulars.