To Summerville, South Carolina, and back

This past Thursday, after breakfast was eaten, lunches made, and the dog walked, I got in my car and began the just over four hour trek from my home to Summerville, South Carolina.

In June, a second cousin of mine had packed all of her worldly possessions onto a truck that would transport everything she owned from the Central Valley of California, to the self-described “Flowertown in the Pines,” and among those possessions were an assortment of crochet projects that her grandmother Lillian had made.

Lillian was my grandmother Violet’s older sister, and it would seem that Lillian, like myself, had more than a passing interest in the art of crochet.

My drive to Summerville was, happily, without incident, and once my cousin and I had spent a few hours catching up and gone into Charleston for dinner, she took me into the guest room and pulled out a very neatly packed and incredibly heavy clear zippered bag — the sort that sheets, comforters, and blankets come in — and began to pull out the various pieces that still remain from her grandmother’s crochet oeuvre.

On the top were smaller items, like this filet crochet square:

filet crochet square
A filet crochet square

and this filet crochet star motif:

filet crochet star
Aunt Lillian’s filet crochet star

As she dug deeper into the bag, she pulled out this thread bedspread which is one of several that featured a floral motif:

crochet flower thread bedspread
Aunt Lillian’s crochet flower motif thread bedspread

Then, as she neared the bottom of the large zippered bag, we reached the piece I had been particularly interested in.

We started with a tag on the back of the piece where, written in my great-aunt’s handwriting (the large looping capital “A” looking exactly like the Palmer Method capital cursive A that had decorated the front wall of my third grade teacher’s classroom) was this date:

April 25, 1920
April 25, 1920

which is would seem was written to mark the occasion of my great-aunt having finished work on this piece:

thread crochet bedspread
Aunt Lillian’s thread crochet bedspread

Part granny square, part filet crochet, this is an interesting piece in need of a bit of repair.

To that end, one of the first things I will need to do is to reverse engineer the entire design of the square, so that I can then move forward and repair the square that has been damaged and restore it (as best I can) to it’s former glory.

As for me, I don’t think it will surprise anyone that one of my favorite pieces to be pulled from the bag was this ripple afghan made from a variegated blue acrylic yarn:

crochet ripple afghan
Aunt Lillian’s crochet ripple afghan with variegated yarn

It is, to my mind, wild and wonderful and captures the raw and untamed essence of crochet, and it lead my right back to my own current front-burner crochet project: the taco purse:

crochet taco purse
Taco purse crochet parts

and using the inspiration I get from my great aunt and all of the other crocheters that have come before me (along with a 4.0mm hook and Red Heart Super Saver gold yarn), I managed to finish making all of the pieces, and tomorrow, after breakfast is eaten, lunches are made, and the dog is walked, my first order of business will be to figure out how to put them all together.

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One thought on “To Summerville, South Carolina, and back

  1. How lovely to feel connected across two centuries, to wonder about the many things being done while these things were crocheted, the conversations, thoughts and feelings …

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