It seems like ages since I was in North Dakota at Nordic Needle! Isn’t it funny how our holidays seem somehow separate from “real life”? Now that I’m back at school with my students I’m completely involved with them and their music making. Bringing things home from somewhere special reminds me of that place every time I use those things. Of course, the things I chose to bring home from Nordic Needle I use all the time so I’ll remember the lovely, generous people there every day!
Before I went north to Nordic Needle, I looked at their extensive catalogue on line and knew that the one thing above all others that I had to get was a thimble. When I was in Bristol earlier this year finishing my canvaswork piece, I just about destroyed my finger while stitching the silk figure onto the stitched canvas. This little thimble is perfect for me – and maybe for you too! It’s call a Roxette and it’s a thimble that has protection for your finger over the pad, or finger-print area, of your finger. When I push a needle through I push using the pad of my finger, not the tip, so a regular thimble doesn’t work well for me. This one is just right. It comes in different sizes and each size is a different color: I needed the large and it’s a glowing green that will be impossible to lose on my worktable even when it’s a total mess!
The thimble was a practical tool that I truly needed to ‘save my skin’ but the next thing I found is pure splurge! Nordic Needle has a small end rack with only a few stunning wooden sewing accessories hanging temptingly from the hooks. Two of them caught my eye and one of those two I decided to bring home to Germany. It’s a small, acorn shaped thimble box.
Those of you who’ve read The Unbroken Thread for a while will remember that I stitch acorns quite a lot (I love acorns and my parent’s home is surrounded by oak trees which makes them doubly special!). This little acorn shaped box is hand turned of RocoBolo wood on Vancouver Island. There is a brass fitting on the top and the bottom so the lid screws down perfectly and it holds my new thimble! Did I need a thimble box? Nope. Do I love it and feel joy every time I see it? Yes! And I value the skill of the person who careful created this beautiful thing.
And of course, I chose some threads to use on my canvaswork sampler. These blues and greens – all from Caron Threads- will be just right for the piece I’m working on and maybe for another one in the future.
The pretty turned wood item you see below was something of a mystery when I saw it hanging next to the thimble box. It’s called a “Solider’s Friend”. My nephew in law and I tried to figure out what that meant and what it was but we couldn’t. We asked one of the women in the shop and she didn’t know either. She then called on Debi and she knew exactly what it was- a special kind of sewing kit for a soldier.
The top has a small lid and the inside is hollowed out as a place for needles. The rings are where thread would be wound and the bottom is curved to be used for darning socks. Brilliant! What we couldn’t find out was when one of these would have been used: the Civil War? Revolutionary War? First or Second World War? (unlikely, I think)
If you know more about this beautiful and quirky item, would you share it with all of us please? Someday maybe I’ll own one of these Soldier’s Friends and I’d like to be able to tell my grandchildren when it was used and where it might have been carried by a solider a long way from home who didn’t like having holy socks!