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Start Thinking About Heirloom Knitting

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Heirloom knitting does have a certain ring to it, doesn’t it? Images of great grandma’s time in crafting such beautiful items with ornate designs and perfectly scrolled edges – maybe even some royalty in the family.

Heirloom Knitting Explained

An heirloom is, according to Webster, “a piece of personal property handed down by inheritance for several generations.” It might be a great gift or legacy, expensive antique or of great personal, sentimental or emotional value. Heirloom knitting includes the definitives above plus the value of that loving attention that hand-crafted items intrinsically hold. To have an heirloom knit item is to look into one’s own past.

How Times Change

Heirloom knitting is not a dead science, but the dynamics are quite different in the twenty first century than they were in 1776. No doubt, long hours were devoted to creating beautiful knit heirlooms – tablecloths, tapestries, shawls and scarves. Family crests and color schemes are relevant here and talk about another time and place.

We take everything for granted in this day of mega-shopping complexes and the availability of millions of consumer items. But, in earlier times, it might be a year or several years just in the preparation to do a great heirloom knitting project. It is not inconceivable that it required years or decades even in gathering of materials, perfecting dyes and negotiating labor.

The Value Of Heirlooms

We’ve seen great heirloom knitting in museums, cedar chests and recently on the public broadcasting ‘Road Show’ programming that looks at the old and antique in a favorable light. Imagine how many priceless heirlooms have gone to dust, lacking just a little basic care.

Continue The Tradition

The idea of inheritance is a natural one. Somehow, we know that we belong to something greater than ourselves. The difficulty comes in trying to identify what that great thing is. Heirloom knitting has, and continues to be, an attempt to give the concept a practical shape – not to imprison the inheritance – rather to define that it exists and is worth pursuing.

It is a wonder that heirloom knitting was able to take a practical shape to accomplish this task. It is a tribute in itself to the human spirit – the thing in us worth inheriting!

You might be surprised what heirloom knitting is in your own family history so if you get a chance to ask your grandparents, don’t miss the chance.

 

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