Anastasia's socks are delivered!

Today, I drove down to my friend's house, and visited with her mother in law, Anastasia, aka Annie. 

Anastasia is in her mid 80's.  She grew up on a sheep ranch, and she married a sheep rancher, so she continued with sheep.  Her sheep days ended in 1972 with the last 4 suffolk sheep on their ranch.  These are the sheep which were shorn, and whose wool my friend showed to me in the barn, and which I took home and washed and spun and knitted the socks.

Annie is trememdously homesick and nostalgic for her days as a sheep rancher...

So, first, I showed Annie a hearty handful of old skanky wool, which she immediately recognized and said that there's more in yet a different out-building on the ranch.  (Yay!) She immediately offered me all the wool I wanted because she's an unbelievably nice lady.

Then, I showed her some of the same wool, which I had washed, and she exclaimed that she had done the same thing in 1972 - she had washed some of the wool, dried it, and made the wreath on her kitchen wall, and that the 2 bells on the wreath were from her last sheep.  (She also said that at one time, they had 700+ sheep, 300+ of which all wore bells!  Imagine how wonderful that must have sounded!!!  She told a great story about the bells.  Seeing the bells on that wreath made a tear come to my eye.  Imagine - over 300 belled sheep, pouring out of the barn on a winter morning!)

Next, I pulled out my trusty drop spindle and showed her that I spun the wool on a drop spindle, and I pulled out a skein of yarn to show her the yarn.  Actually, the skein was a 2 ply which I decided wouldn't work for the socks, but still, it told the story.  She held the skein with wonder.

Finally, I pulled out the socks and said, "And, I knitted these socks for YOU, with the wool from your sheep!"  

Oh Me Oh My, I'll never forget the look on her face.  She threw her arms out wide and exclaimed, "For me?" 

She absolutely loves her socks!  She said that she's going to hang them on her wall, and I insisted that she must wear her socks, that this is the whole point!  I think I'm going to knit a tiny pair, have them shadow box framed so that she can hang those on her wall, and wear the wearable pair.

We had a lovely, long conversation about her life with sheep, and her various experiences with her husband and her son and their sheep ranch.  What a great day.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this story.  I'm pleased.
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Edited on March 14 to add - 
You might like to read a little more of the history of Anastasia's socks.  
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Enjoy!
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7 comments:

Luni said...

What a sweet story. It was wonderful of you to do that for her.

Cynthia said...

What a great thing to do! And it sounds like you picked just the right recipient, too. I especially like that you showed her the middle stages, not just the finished socks.

Shepherd's Loft said...

IT'S A WONDERFUL STORY. THANK YOU FOR SHARING IT. Anastasia sounds like a lovely soul. I can see why you wanted to knit the socks for her. God bless you both.

cathy said...

You've done a beautiful thing. And not just for that one sweet lady but also for any of us who hear the story. Thank you!

fleegle said...

Rosemary--they are totally beautiful! And your kindness makes them glow!

Stacie said...

How lovely! The mini socks in a shadowbox are a wonderful idea!

CurliSu said...

Such a wonderfully thoughtful thing to do - and thank you for sharing with the rest of us!
--from an occasional reader