Last week it was cold outside- well, it should be after all, it is January ! While I was shoveling it occurred to me that my mother is still keeping me warm. She has been gone since 1999, yet still she cares for me. Wearing wool mittens that she knit when I was probably in college, my fingers kept very toasty and warm. Wearing a waterproof over- mitt kept the mittens dry, although they may have stayed dry without that. That’s the thing with wool- it is very hard for water to penetrate.
There are other ways she keeps me warm too- wool sweaters that she knit years upon years ago. They are still look very much the same as the day they were knit. You can an image here if you are interested from a previous post. twocatsanddoghooking.com/long-line-of-makers-of-things/
Natural materials – wool from the source
Using natural products, like wool, are the reason these sweaters and mittens are still around- still reminding me of her sitting in her special chair- knitting away in the evenings while my father watched tv.
Thats’ the thing- heritage ways of doing things- the knitting, the rug hooking, the cooking, whatever it may be- isn’t that often times the best way? These things have stood the test of time. Just like rugs of old, mittens and sweaters. Keeping us cozy – warming the floors, maybe the walls.
Here is a great article about the benefits of wool fibers and how to spin if you are interested- you can read it here in this link from Homestead.org
New products using wool
Now, creating hand dyed wool for hooking may be the my contribution to warmth and coziness. Not only hooking but providing this wool for others to create their own stories- their own memories. Hooking a rug with 100 percent wool will, if properly cared for, be around for people to enjoy for many years forward. With any luck, these rugs will be passed down to the next generation in families .
It is possible that these rugs might be sold at a yard sale as they may seem unnecessary in whoever’s lives at the moment. Well, lucky the person who snags that rug! They will be able to enjoy it’s warmth, craftsmanship and durability. If they are really lucky, the maker will have marked them or labeled them to identify whose hands crafted the rug.
Stories for the future and from the past
Stories- that is what these items are- they are the stories of our past- but also the stories of our future. Being able to paint with wool and create utilitarian items for the home is a gift- for oneself and for others. Some rugs tell stories, some will be stories told about the makers. Some will be conjectures of who might have made them, what they were like, thinking, hoping for.
What is your story about keeping warm?
Who keeps you warm? Do you have a story? Perhaps you were lucky enough to have an item that was made specifically for you by another to keep you warm. If not- consider doing that for someone else if you have that skill. Learn one of these heritage crafts. Carry on the tradition of usefulness and utilitarian objects that will stand the test of time – keeping others warm. Reminding us of people from the past and looking forward to practices of the future is more important than one might imagine. Keeping warm with wool. From a sweater, a mitten or a rug, (to keep the floors or walls warm)- wool does the job beautifully.
I am hoping to knit again this year- simple things but things to keep people warm by using wool. Past projects have been few and far between. There are some hats that were made, but cowls are on the next project list. It is the counting and paying attention that makes me crazy- rug hooking is so much more forgiving!
Off to the dye pots today – maybe a bit of hooking later. What will you do to keep people warm?
Please tell your story here – I’d love to hear it!