I was back in Connecticut for a few days recently. It was beautifully "silver" weather -- steely skies, drizzling rain, misty and foggy. Lovely weather for knitting. Lovely for walking through the park and looking at the magnolias.
And lovely weather for antiquing. An old friend and I spent an afternoon doing just that, and I found a treasure. Buried on a shelf of 19th century poetry books was a little notebook. Its covered was tattered, its leather binding mended with a scrap of brown plaid fabric.
It was some kind of account book, with carefully hand-written records from 1848 to 1855 of goods (barrels of flour, gallons of molasses, yards of calico, bushels of poughtatoes, half pint of turnip seeds) and services (sawing, oxen, a "horse and wagon to gow to Poughkiepsie"). The book was already delightfully charming on its own. But what made it a treasure was this: pasted over the earliest records were a dozen or so knitting and crochet patterns.
I love to think of a 19th century woman carefully snipping these patterns out of a magazine and pasting them into the accounts book. I love to think of her trying out the different laces -- fluted lace, oak-leaf lace, torchon lace, German lace, and more -- or casting on for the knitted shoulder cape or the clover leaf bedspread. I love to think of all the things that had to line up in this universe for her book to have found its way to me.
Once I have a chance to try out some of the stitch patterns, I'll definitely be sharing this find in more detail. But for now, I'll leave you with my mom's kitty cat. She was on the bed while I was taking photographs of the book, and she was getting tired of my movement and provocations ...