When I was a nipper, Mama and Papa (Mum’s parents) lived nearby in a stone-clad end of terrace house with high ceilings and an unusual, wrap-around layout. My little sister and I spent lots of time there. Mama and Papa patiently entertained us with family games such as marbles, “Ey up, milady!” and “Kings”; tended and groomed us to keep us presentable; fed us with pies and other homely dishes; and gave us small treats or chastisements as our conduct decreed.
Mama liked patterns. She knitted. She had patterned wallpaper, but then everyone did – it was well before the days when minimalist, Scandinavian style would throw a magnolia coloured spanner in the works of a thriving wallpaper industry by making neutrality the only safe way to go. Her kitchen paper fascinated me. Strangely shaped teapots, household items, fruit and motifs placed at jaunty angles hung down in trails. I liked to trace out the patterns, lingering over them, looking for repeats, enjoying the familiarity of this or that small detail.
The wallpaper is long gone, but some of the patterns Mama loved are still treasured in the family. Her crocheted throws (kings) are still known by the name of the old dressing-up game they inspired. This is the one she made for me.
After years of heavy use the throws have been put away for now to stop them wearing out, though I’m sure mine will be quickly pulled out in a crisis!
And yes, the floral jug at the top was picked out by her. I love the way the dotted pattern forms a subtle counterpoint to the bright flowers and foliage. These days the crackle of age adds a lovely deeper layer. My pictures don’t do it justice – one of these days I’ll borrow it and fill it with a tumble of summer flowers.
Inspired by yesterday’s prompt: Pattern
If you enjoy Pinterest, you may like to take a look at my floral patterns board, which is a mix of retro and contemporary style: