Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Mother's Book....and a finished sock.

With the children settled on the couch with reading of their own, I pulled a book from my shelf and began reading .... when soon I stumbled across a few lines that caused me to stop and ponder on the lessons I teach when I don't finish what I have begun and the custom of having half a dozen things on hand at once.
"Making patchwork is likewise a quiet amusement; and if a child be taught to fit it herself, it may be made really useful. If the corners are not fitted exactly, or sewing done neatly, it should be taken to pieces and fitted again; for it is by inattention to these little things that habits of carelessness are formed. On no occasion whatever should a child be excused from finishing what she has begun. The custom of having half a dozen things on hand at once, should not be tolerated. Everything should be finished, and well finished. It ought to be considered a disgrace to give up anything, after it is once undertaken. Habits of perseverance are of incalculable importance; and a parent should earnestly improve the most trifling opportunities of impressing this truth." The Mother's Book by Mrs. Child 1831 I threw down my book and hurried off to my knitting basket... because what a disgrace to stop knitting one toe shy of a new pair of socks?


silversewer said...

Love your socks Christine, such lovely colours.

That passage from the book reminded me of my Grandmother, she was a tailoress and taught me all I know about sewing, I used to sit on a stool at the side of the sewing machine whilst she sewed, I was given hand sewing to do and it if was not neat enough, she made me unpick it and do it again.....

Carol said...

What pretty, pretty socks...Look at that sweet picture of Miss Molly in your header. OMG she is just beautiful!

Judy said...

IN my older antique quitl books the stories are what I love the most...one was about a 6 yo girl who started a quilt and her father said if she finished by her 7th birthday she would get $1. Her aunt taught her by giving her patches to sew into 9 patch blocks and if it was incorrect she ripped it out and made her re-do it. I think learning to do it right is important at first. then if you want o make it wonky that's okay. but I don't see it as a horrid disgrace to leave something either.

But very cool sicks!*s*

Leslie said...

Part of the Bluebird motto- "To try to finish what I begin." Maybe I didn't learn that well enough, I never 'fly up' to Girl Scout. :cD The quote also makes me think about thrift. Nothing was left unfinished because it would be wasteful, something I try to consider when I'm struck by 'start-itis'. Thanks for the quote!

Nadine said...

I'm the only blogger, among my local fellow quilters, and I must say it gave me such a wind of liberty, reading about "Ufo's", piles of started projects, etc...;>) You see, my quilting pals are from the "old school" (I'm 57 and the youngest) : NO waste, NO stash ("what's that ??? leave the fabric at the shop, and buy it WHEN you NEED it!"). They carefully study some patterns, choose one, calculate wisely then buy the requested fabrics and STICK TO THAT SINGLE PROJECT until the quilt is completely finished (read quilted!). I never saw them working on more than one single quilt at a time.....
They taught me all I know about sewing (and they keep going), and they are exquisite ladies, like big sisters or even mothers to me... with a strong will and perseverance.
So I keep hiding my stash, and I go to our weekly group meetings with the same blocks for 2 years now ! (I even got a special bag, to avoid any "mistake"!) LOL LOL
Can you imagine how "miserable" I'm feeling when there ? HeeHee Ooooh, how difficult it is sometimes, to bite my tongue and avoid talking about this or that new project that I started ! I once did, and they said "don't spread your stitches like confettis! You will loose track of them, you will loose your time, your energy, and you'll finish nothing!"
This sometimes (often) gets on my nerves (bad conscience?), however, I keep hearing that teasing little voice inside me, saying "they're right ! they're right!"
To prove it : since more than 12 years we're meeting together, they've finished SO MANY MORE quilts than I ever will (sigh)

Your desperate "starter" ;>)

By the way : LOVE the socks you're knitting, hmmmm... I can imagine warm little feet inside them for the coming winter ;>)

And your book must be an interesting reading, too!

(Phew ! That was quite a long comment, sorry!)

Eileen said...

YIKES! I am a disgrace! I'm good at unpicking.. but not too good at always finishing!

Kritta22 said...

Yikes...I was just asked about my Unfinished Projects on another site, and I couldn't even count. I'm a disgrace! Oh well I'm a happy disgrace! Cute socks!

Lily Boot said...

this is seriously something I have thought about a lot as Abigail nears her teen years. I set a DREADFUL example - and not only have I done this, but I don't encourage her to finish either. We're so busy flitting about from one event, exercise, activity, whatever, to another, that it is a unexpected thrill when something is finally completed. I blame my father ;-) - he took all the window latches off the windows of our house 26 years ago to polish them - and three houses later, they are still in an icecream bucket under my mother's current home. :-) I hope this is not my destiny!

Jane said...

Oh heavens! What good advice!!!
The woman would die of shock should she see my stack of goodies.
Mind you I used to not make an item of clothing if I could not finish it in one go and had to teach myself it was ok to leave it overnight...so maybe I taught myself too well.

In principle the advice is good. But I hate the thought of how it would be applied by the writer.

Miri said...

Oh my goodness: my father could have written that (well not using patchwork as the example!)Growing up, I was always uneasy that I had left something undone-and of course I didn't know what! I'm much more relaxed now! :)