Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Recurring Gift (A New/Old Tradition)

My husband's grandmother, Helene, was a charming and gracious woman that I was very fortunate to get to know.  She was a thrifty person, as those who lived through the Great Depression tended to be, and didn't spend much money on herself.  But she did have a weakness for at least one thing -- and that was Waterford. 

Every Christmas (and most other gift-giving occasions) back when John's grandfather, Grandpa Jack, was alive, he would give Helene money with which she would buy herself a pair of Waterford glasses.  Each time she'd select a different pattern and a different type of glass.  Over the years she amassed a beautiful collection. 

Before Grandma Helene passed on, she distributed her collection to various grandchildren, and I was fortunate and honored to receive a set.  I got the Old Fashioned glasses -- old fashioned glasses indeed, as I don't know anyone who drinks Old Fashions these days.  But they are good for eggnog, or brandy, or the occasional Kahlua and Cream.  I find having a set with all different patterns utterly charming, and it's fun to select a particular glass when I do use them (which really isn't often enough; I need to get over my fear of breaking them). 

I was thinking of Helene and her annual gift tradition recently, and decided that I liked it so much I was going to foist it on suggest it to my own husband.  And thus, the Annual Signature Needles Gift has been born.  I get something useful and beautiful that I might not otherwise buy for myself, and John doesn't have to struggle to come up with an appropriate gift.  It's a win-win.

This year, I selected two sets of circular needles (US9 and US10).  I generally knit with straights, but I needed some circs in larger sizes and thought perhaps Signatures might get me over my circ aversion.  I think they just might; I cast on this afternoon and have been happily knitting on them ever since. 

The needles:  Signature Stiletto circs, size US 9/5.5mm
The yarn:  BMFA Gaea (100% Certified Organic 21.5 Micron Merino)
in the colorway Haida Fledge. 
The pattern:  Ida by Debbi Stone

On this Christmas night, I will pour a brandy into a carefully selected Waterford glass, and toast Helene's memory and the start of a new/old tradition.


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