Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bobbins of the Past

I started working on an intarsia hat pattern. Why? Someone would like me to knit it for her. And I like the pattern.

It brings back memories of knitting strange intarsia punk patterns in the early 80's. I remember knitting leg warmers in orange and black; a grey and burgundy hound's-tooth vest; a black stockinette sweater, knit entirely of Bernat Bucilla, with a stark white "A" in the middle of a white circle; and a baby blue, pink and white Fair Isle sweater in acrylic, with bristly hot pink mohair accents. I had gotten the acrylic at the
Emporium on Market Street in San Francisco and the hot pink mohair from Marks and Spencer's in London.

Anarchy, man. It was anarchy.

But, I started to think, did I ever use bobbins? Did I? Didn't I just let it all hang out (the ends, mean?) I remembered some bobbins, stowed away with the oldest of the old knitting needles I'd inherited from various relatives and from friends' mothers.

I poked around in the old Castile Soap box from I. Magnin that my great aunt had given me to hold my knitting needles as a child. The corners are taped together now, and I have newer and shinier places to store my knitting supplies, but I can't bear to throw away the old Castile Soap box.

The bobbins
were right where I had left them years ago, tucked under old needles and pins and things. I gathered them together and lined them up. They were all of the same genre, mezzo-opaque or mezzo-transparent. How had I acquired them?

Funny how these things never get thrown away. They are passed along from person to person until someone finds a use for them, or like me, someone can't bear to toss them out. And what of the white wool yarn wrapped around a couple of these ancient bobbins? It certainly wasn't a remnant of anything I had knitted. Had my great aunt given me the bobbins with this tightly wound white wool yarn clinging to them? I feel like I should leave the wool on them and keep them like good talismans, warding away evil mojo.

Okay, I had found these ten bobbins, made of
tiddlywink material, sort of like bakelite. But I needed 16 bobbins. I probably could have jimmied a few, but I knew I had more somewhere.

And after some rummaging, I found these Jiffy Bobbins stored in the stationery cabinet in the den. Don't ask me why I put them there. I thought I had consolidated all my knitting paraphernalia, but these were strays.

The lid of the box says they are "automatic." This makes them sound somewhat mechanized, but I'll forgive the manufacturer for that. In fact, they are quite usable and ingenious little things.

All is well in Bobbinlandia. I shall persevere at maximum bobbin capacity.

1 comment:

Laritza said...

Those are way cool!