In the aftermath of my third missed deadline for what began its life as my 2015 North Carolina State Fair project, I have decided not to put it away until it is done.
To that end, I have been working on perfecting a representation — first, in embroidery, then in crochet — of a thimble.
This project is, after all, a testament to my grandmother Nora’s life, who in addition to being an avid pinochle player (evidenced by the numerous mentions in the Edwardsville Intelligencer of their exploits, some of which I document in this blog post), was also a busy embroiderer.
In one of the rare documents I have written in my grandmother’s hand, she mentions a thimble that was given to her by “grandmother Hill,” a woman whose existence I know little about outside of the six water tumblers which were also handed down to my grandmother Nora, and which, more than a hundred and fifty years later, have made their way to me. But today it was that thimble I was seeking to recreate.
My first effort did not go well.
It was embroidered, and the fuzziness of the embroidering in split yarn which I find charming for cupcakes and flowers, is not nearly so charming for thimbles, so I pulled out the stitches, set the crochet piece aside and tried to crochet one.
My first effort went reasonably well, but was not exactly what I wanted. It is, however, very photogenic, so you can’t really see it’s deficiencies in this photo:
Thinking that there was a better, more perfect representation of a thimble waiting to be crocheted, I tried a second time, and while this effort was better in some obvious ways (tidier stitches, straighter edges) something of the ineffable “thimbleness” of my first effort was gone:
Here they are, side by side:
With the second effort falling even further short of what I had envisioned, I decided to set aside my crochet thimble and return to the crazy quilt pieces.
The first one that got my attention was a claret piece that I had finished. Using a bouquet of embroidered French knot flowers that I had found on the internet as a guide, I decorated the piece:
and then seamed it into place:
Building on the mojo that finishing that piece had generated, I got to work on another piece that I wanted to place to it’s immediate right, and shortly before it was time to fix dinner, I got the piece crocheted:
There is still a lot of work to be done on this piece, and I intend to do it.