Saturday, July 18, 2009

My Inheritance

I know I said I was taking a break from crafting this month,
but I inherited this thing from both my parents...
Busy Hands Syndrome. Even when they were sitting around the table or out on the porch, they were busy with their hands. I remember over the years watching Daddy piddle with some little something, carving a piece of wood, making a drinking cup from a tin can, a piece of metal, and some rivets, working on a radio that had quit working, strumming his guitar, making bird calls just by holding his hands together and blowing...juuuuust right ~ he taught me how to do those calls...
and Mama would be reading (holding a book in her hands), looking through an old time gospel song book, sketching a dream she'd had the night before, writing a friend or relative, signing a birthday card to put in the mail, quilting, making little kazoo-like sounds by holding a blade of grass between her thumbs and blowing...juuuuust right ~ and she taught me how to do that!
They taught me so much more, but it's comforting to think of those little, silly things... it takes me back home in my mind. Since both of them have passed away, I have to be content with going back home only in my mind now.
Getting back to the title of the post ~ and my inheritance:
No matter where I am,
I always feel like I should have something in my hands,
accomplishing something,
making the most of my time,
even if it's a little silly and fun.
So while sitting in the evenings with my husband (and our kids, when they aren't too busy with other things), I decided I'd do a bit of crocheting. I went out in my workroom, rummaged around and found a hook and some cotton yarn that I'd purchased with the intentions of making a honeysuckle hued scarf, and started making these dishcloths...
I think I've found a new hobby via my inherited busy hands syndrome.

I'll probably be making plenty of these dishcloths and washcloths.
I know what family members will be getting for Christmas and for birthdays...
and I know what little extras I can make to fill the empty spaces on my website...

While searching for 19th century crochet books, I ran across this book which told about working children in 1864. Here is just a small excerpt:
Mary Croly, crochet worker.—Suppose I'm about 18. Have been at crochet 9 or 10 years. Learned at a crochet school, a largo room in a shop, where there were a great many girls, 100 I should think. There are no crochet schools now, but girls get together in houses, half-a-dozen or so together, as they can work quicker so. Have often got up at 6 on a summer morning and worked till 9 p.m., but never longer ; but lots of girls work all day till 11 and 12 p.m. ; when crochet was good some would stop up till 2 a.m., but I think not later. Each worker carries her work to a crochet shop from which they have got the work out. When crochet was good I would think nothing of earning 8s. a week, but now I can only earn 3s., working from 7 a.m. till 8 p.m. This is not clear, but there is perhaps 6d. off for thread. Gives mother what I earns. Left school to go to crochet, and have never been to any school since, only to a chapel every night. Had learned very little. Can read very badly.

excerpt from Parliamentary Papers by Great Britian Parliament House of Commons
Childrens Employment Commission 1864

I don't quite think I want to crochet from 6 a.m. till 9 p.m. I'm doing well to work a couple hours on these cloths!


  1. Great washcloths- everything you do turns to gold -hehe- seriously, you are so talented!!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing! I'm so glad to know that my disease has a name :) I must confess - I too have BHS.

    Isn't it lovely to make your own cloths - they're beautiful and useful.

    Blessings, Patti

  3. Great blog. Really enjoyed it, you made it fun to read. Also the pictures are great.

  4. Love that lemony color, Lana, and the excerpt from the book. . . I am surprised she says the girls work faster if they are all to gether. When I go to my rug hooking guild get togethers, I don't accomplish a thing -- I talk too much!


  5. Very lovely post. It is nice to sit and remember times like that isn't it. Lovely crochet as well. Dishcloths are a favorite of mine to keep my hands busy.

  6. Me too~ I inhericted that busy hands syndrome. My husband just thinks I'm nuts.
    I do baby hats... by the bushel!

  7. Oh, the yellow grabbed my attention, but your story kept it. My mother has crocheted, it seems - all my life and as she has aged - has had to stop. That was something I was never able to pick up - seems my hands and mind are not in sync when it comes to those types of stitches! I love my cotton crochet cloths and use nothing else. Can't wait to see yours listed in your Etsy store! Thank you for stopping by my blog. I'm so glad to have found yours as well!

  8. I have the same syndrome;-) I have sweet memories of my Grandma Jeanne always needlepointing and creating. She was also a composer and pianist. I love your summery washclothes...I wish I could knit.