Non-knitting Lace

My knitting time has decreased significantly over the past six weeks or so because I’m no longer spending hours every day with Mom. I’m delighted to report that she is adjusting has adjusted really well to life at her new home, a nearby memory care residence to which my brothers and I moved her. She takes part in activities throughout the day, enjoys many of her neighbors and all of the remarkable professionals, and is eating and sleeping as before.

When I visited last week, she was working on her bowling technique.

When she knocked over the pins, there were cheers and applause, much to her — and my — delight.

Back at her apartment, we’ve been sorting through her belongings, finding treasures large and small.

There are about a gazillion photos. Remember the old days when you didn’t know how a photo turned out until you’d gotten the prints back from the photo shop? So you took a lot of photos and, if you were my mother, often got the “double prints” option so you could share the good ones. And, because life was busy, you didn’t toss out the ones you didn’t want nor did you send many of the copies to friends and family. So you ended up with albums and boxes holding approximately one gazillion photos.

This one features me in a lovely pink, knitted ensemble, and brother Luke prying something out of my 14-month-old hand as we gaze up at a tall mystery person! I still have that Christmas stocking, knit by Mom.

The oldest article of clothing we’ve found is an exquisite linen baptismal gown that we’re quite sure was worn by Mom and each of her three sisters. There must be a photo somewhere that will verify that!

neck of vintage linen and lace Christening gown

The detail is amazing.

close up of vintage linen and lace baptismal gown

It was dry and yellowish when we discovered it in Mom’s closet. After a bit of online research, I learned that vintage linen should be rehydrated (who knew?!), so I plopped it in a big pot of water for a day or so. I changed the water a couple of times and then added a bit of Euclan liquid soap for a proper bath.

detail of lace section on vintage linen Christening gown

I could tell by the feel of the linen that the Euclan bath had removed the dust and dirt, but the gown was still yellow. Further research yielded a possible remedy: non-chlorine Oxyclean, which was easy to get at our nearby hardware store. After another daylong bath — this time in Oxyclean and water — the yellow tinge was almost completely gone. Magic!

white linen and lace vintage Christening baptism gown on brown wood table

There are no babies on the way among the next generation (at least, not as far as I know), so I’ve wrapped this heirloom in some tissue paper and tucked it away for some blessed relative-to-be.

7 thoughts on “Non-knitting Lace

  1. Your mom’s history couldn’t be in the hands of a more thoughtful and loving curator. So glad she’s settled in so well to her new digs, and that you can enjoy such quality time together … reminiscing, bowling(!), and refreshing your mother-daughter bond. It seems like you both are enlivened in this next chapter. Love to you all.

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  2. So glad your Mom is doing well in her new home! And glad you are finding some treasures in her belongings – the photos and christening gown are so wonderful! How neat that you were able to restore the gown so beautifully! I had no idea linen needed to be rehydrated – live and learn!

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  3. MaryAnn- Thank you for the update. I hope your mom has settled into her new residence. She is such an amazing lady. Seeing her in the group tugs at my memories of her. The baptismal dress truly is a treasure. I hope you are well and watching daily events unfold in every direction imaginable for all of us. Isn’t it just overwhelming sometimes. Melissa

    On Tue, Mar 10, 2020 at 5:20 AM Saltwater Hill Knits wrote:

    > saltwaterhillknits posted: ” My knitting time has decreased significantly > over the past six weeks or so because I’m no longer spending hours every > day with Mom. I’m delighted to report that she is adjusting has adjusted > really well to life at her new home, a nearby memory care resid” >

    Liked by 1 person

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