|Ragna with her husband, Adolph Krabbe|
The frist thing I would like to share with you from the trove of Ragna's work are the four bedspreads Ragna made out of thin cotton thread and a small crochet hook, perhaps a size #10. They are approximately 82 x102 inches and I believe they were made in the 1930's as I still have the pattern book she used as well as a skein of the thread. I can imagine her crocheting through the depression and the war. Did she crochet on these while listening to war reports on the radio? When Pearl Harbor was bombed and her daughter, Esther, came home in tears afraid for the husband stationed there on board ship, was this the work Ragna stood up from to comfort her? Later, my grandmother Esther inherited the spreads and I remember them on the beds at her house when I was a little girl. Now I have them and on a bed in my house now rests one of these Grandma Ragna's spreads.
The pattern book is full of beautiful blocks to crochet into spreads and table cloths. Ragna crochet the pattern on the right.
There is one unfinished spread and a pile of blocks waiting to be added. I picture them here next to Ragna's sewing machine. When I look at each of the stitches in each one of the blocks and then through out the thread I feel as if I was looking at one individual moment in Grandma Ragna's life. It is as if each stitch makes the time visible, time that was part of her life. Maybe I will learn how to attach the blocks to one another and finish the last spread. I can see on the backs of the finished threads how Ragna herself got better at this, though all of the behind the scene threads connecting the work together is nearly invisible and hard to detect. That isn't what you'll find about the threads that connect Ragna and me.
|The front cover of the pattern book. The publishing date on the inside is 1935|
More of Ragna and her other needlework to come in future posts.