In which I make visible progress on the vinx stole inspired by my mother’s cousin Flora

My mother’s cousin Flora had her own sense of style.

In recounting it to me, my mother shared that Flora favored sensible shoes (pumps with a modest heel) and high neck collars (even for the formals that she wore to her sorority installations). She was, my mother explained, modest even by the standard of her time, but there were elements of fashion (such as the mink stole I am attempting to recreate in crochet) that hint at a sense of playfulness that was also a part of who Flora was.

Before Flora was the young woman she would be when my mother was born, Flora was herself a girl, as seen here in this undated photo:

Flora Ruzich as a girl
Flora Ruzich as a girl

At the time she sat for this portrait, Flora was not yet old enough to drive, but she was also not many years away from learning that skill, and like many children of immigrants, she would serve as a bridge between the old world into which her mother had been born, and the new world in which her mother found herself living.

In Flora’s case that meant that she would be responsible for most of the family’s driving, taking her mother shopping and to various appointments. But in this photo, Flora is simply a precocious version of who she will become wearing both sensible-ish shoes and a dress with a collar that is both fairly high and fairly large.

But you also see in the flowers as the impressively large bow in her hair, that there was an element of playfulness to Flora, and it is that element I want to recreate in the vinx stole, and over the past two days, the nearly imperceptible advances I had been making  on the piece finally snowballed into visible progress, and I nearly (but not quite) finished all of the pieces of four vinx:

I finally make visible progress on four vinxes in medias res for a future vinx stole
I finally make visible progress on four vinxes in medias res for a future vinx stole

which I will used to recreate the stole:

future crochet mink stole
A future crochet vinx stole

As we go about living our lives, we don’t know what elements we will leave behind that will last.

I am certain that when Flora purchased her mink stole, she was not thinking that one day she might have a first cousin (once removed) who would attempt to replicate it in crochet, but I do hope that even if she wouldn’t wear a vinx stole herself, she would, at least, find herself at least a little bit amused at what she had inspired, and as for me, I will work toward making even more visible progress, one stitch at a time.