A fine design

This wee bag was made by my mother. I’m not too sure when, but possibly in the 1950’s when she was still living in her home village. In a post-war communist Yugoslavia things seemed to carry on as per usual in the mountains and forests where people hid from the offer of volunteering to rebuild cities.

My mother’s eyesight faded over time but she was a fine, detailed textile artist of the peasant tradition. Here you can clearly see the influence of the South East Balkans. The beads are tiny and they make the bag heavy. It is lined with a geometric fabric and has a metal zip. She could knit anything, weave, stitch, anything. She understood patterning. It was logged in her mind just like finding her way around places, never getting lost. I believe this is something that is not just taught, but also caught – my son could see the patterns in music from a very young age.

I have a photograph somewhere of me age four, in the studio in Bradford, holding this bag, wearing blue and a Nordic design cardigan. If I locate it, I’ll post it up.

There goes the doorbell. It’s a bit of yarn in the post. I have a jumper, a cowl and fingerless gloves to finish. Knitting with a Samurai film is on the cards tonight!



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