Packing up my knitting junk this morning made me think of my mum.
I’m almost done knitting my daughter’s sweater. Yards of cream colored yarn have become a fabric of cables and texture. All I need to do now is sew up the seams. That means I no longer need the knitting needles, ball of yarn, measuring tape, stitch markers and all the other doo dads I use when I knit.
I started packing everything away when I noticed how many pairs of scissors I have in this one bedroom apartment. Ten.
I have kitchen scissors for cutting flower stems. Yet, I’m just as likely to pull a knife out of the drawer to cut something.
I have scissors with black handles for cutting wrapping paper and opening packages that come from Amazon and LL Bean.
There are the scissors I bought from a friend selling scrapbooking supplies, an expensive investment that produced two pages of a scrapbook for my youngest daughter. That fad died quickly along with my patience.
The purple handled scissors are for cutting fabric. I don’t sew anymore.
The small silver scissors clip quilt threads. The gold embroidery scissors snipped threads when I had a passion for crewel. I had forgotten about them until I went looking for all the scissors in the house for this blog.
The blue handled scissors live in the bathroom.
I have beautiful bronze colored scissors made in the shape of a stork.
I spotted them on the website for London Loop, a yarn shop in London. They were French, the website said. I had to have them. It was the one souvenir I wanted from our trip to London. I dragged Joe on the Underground to the quaint back alley shop, where the scissors lived in glass case. They were a wonder to use.
I lost them six months later.
I found a replacement online made by a Chinese company. The same bronze stork handle, but smaller. That made me think the whole Paris to London scissors may not have been all that unique.
It was fun, however, tracking the replacement scissors as they traveled from Chinese warehouse to Chinese post office, to plane to the U.S. through customs, to our post office, to the house. Three weeks and $20 later.
Almost a year later I spotted the original stork scissors on an end table at my daughter’s house.
Apparently I’d left the scissors at her house. They migrated out of the basement where we sleep when we visit and up the stairs before finding rest on the end table next to my son-in-law’s chair.
Sarah thinks Chuck probably used the Paris to London scissors to cut fishing line.
I never use my most special pair of scissors.
My mother was a nurse. Her scissors are stainless steel, curved with a blunt end that slips under bandages to cut them away without nicking a patient’s skin.
Mum carried her scissors in her uniform pocket when she was at work. At home, they lived in her purse among half sticks of gum, errant pennies, pens and tissues. She had them professionally sharpened every year.
Those scissors were a vital tool, as important to her as the watch with a second hand she used to calculate a patient’s heart rate.
I wasn’t allowed to touch mum’s scissors. They weren’t for cutting out paper dolls, coupons, cloth, or construction paper. All those things would dull blades that needed to be kept sharp for work, I was told.
My mum’s been dead for 22 years. I don’t use her scissors. They’re too important I guess. They live in my knit bag, along with scissors that look like storks.