1 House 100 Years

Preparing For The Centennial Of A Place That Matters

Category: Hobbies

“Cricketeer” Jacket and Scarf

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When I took a “Learn To Knit” class this past winter, I bought some Shepherd’s Wool yarn for the class project even though it was never made into this scarf until well after the class had ended. It’s an easily-worked, reasonably-priced yarn for practicing, experimenting, knitting, and “unknitting.” (You’ll do that a lot. Trust me.)

If you have been following along for a while, you know that I’m often looking for inspirations and ways of putting everything together in a manner that feels right. You might say I’m searching for a “1 House 100 Years” style. This scarf might be a visual definition of that.

The jacket pocket label reads, “It’s a Cricketeer…tailored expressly for McCanns…Torrington, Conn.” From an Internet search, all you may find of McCann’s Department Store are mentions in obituaries of former sales clerks and vintage photographs. So how did this jacket get to a thrift store in Tidewater Virginia?

The fabric and styling place it in the 1950’s to 1960’s. My house would have been in its late 30’s or early 40’s when this jacket was popular…my age when I bought it in a thrift store many years later to match several vintage ties.

Perhaps what makes any style work is unity where everything fits together nicely in its own time period and into others also. What works for me are the colors and textures of both the jacket and the scarf (which actually has a different texture on each side and is reversible).

This photograph was taken June 2015. The knitting stitch that gives this scarf its reversible appearance is the mock rib stitch. I would really like to hear from anyone who has interesting information to share about McCann’s Department Store or Cricketeer men’s clothing!

More Than An Old Toolbox

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An odd thing about collecting is that oftentimes a day will come when you realize that you have a collection. It’s not something that you planned. It just suddenly appears, seemingly out of nowhere like crocus blooms in the spring. “Hey! I’ve got a collection! Where did that come from?”

Such is the case with my toolbox collection. I have five: a Sears Craftsman toolbox from when I bought my house, a Kennedy toolbox that I bought at an auction, two old wooden workshop-made toolboxes that my mother had used to fill with Christmas decoration displays, and this one.

It is my current favorite and was likely made in the woodworking corner of someone’s garage. I saw it at Riverside Mill in Weldon, North Carolina this past fall, and knew right away that it was for me. Who made this toolbox? What projects had been created with its contents?

The mismatched metal pieces may be leftover parts from different projects, but someone had taken extra steps to shape the lid, perhaps with a factory-made toolbox in mind. The tool tray handles are smooth and angled slightly outward, tempting the eyes and urge the hands to explore and create.

This is a toolbox for hand tools. This is a toolbox for special projects. This is a toolbox that is a tool in itself as it has the ability to set the mind back to a simpler time of craftsmanship and to focus experience and imagination towards building something new.

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“Gosh, Mom. All of the other guys are learning to knit.”

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This winter I took a “Learn To Knit” class at a local yarn shop. It was something’s to do during the cold winter months. Knitting has always been a mystery to me. Sure it’s fun and easy to unravel, but how do you get it “raveled” in the first place?

This was my first real completed project after quite a few trials, failures, and goofs. It’s just a simple cotton dishcloth that I gave to my mother with this vase of flowers for Mother’s Day. After all, I guy is supposed to give his first project to his mom, right?

This photograph was taken May 2015.