Old skills translated into a more sustainable life

When I was a child, there was one person who was very special to me: my grandad. He was always there for me, always took time to help me, to play with me, to support me. „Opa“ (German for grandad) was my first word. Every evening he was getting a kiss on his bald head from me. I know he wasn‘t perfect but for me he was my personal hero. He came from a long line of stocking makers from a part of the Czech Republic and had to flee during WWII. For him (having lost nearly everything), making things gave him a lot of joy. Sadly he died when I was just 12 years old but I still remember him vividly – even today.

That is us… and I just did not like to get my picture taken…

From my grandma (his wife) I got the love for yarn and creating things out of it. My grandad used wood. He carved figurines whenever he liked, always had his old leather apron on and wood clippings lying around him. I still have some of his figurines and they are some of my most prized possessions.

Why am I telling you this? When I was just small, I not only watched my grandad carve his figurines, I was also allowed to carve myself even though I was very young when I first tried. After his death I got some of his carving knives and a while back I thought that I lost them during one of the many moves we made in the last few years. For me that was the saddest part, because I thought I lost something of him, a person so dear to me. But as I am writing now you can guess that I got them back. (I lent them to a friend of mine who found them after his move.) And after sharpening them they are as good as new.

I never sharpened these pencils. I tend not to use them too much so I can still feel close to him.

For a long time I wanted to try to carve again and carve something I could use as well. During a stay in the Swedish forest, I carved a crochet hook and thought „that could be something I could do“. So while I got more and more conscious how important it is to live a more sustainable life, I actually had an idea to get some use out of my old bamboo toothbrushes…

I removed the top part and just used the rest.

The first one is – so far – just a try. I carved a crochet hook out of a toothbrush and had a lot of fun with it. It reminded me of my time sitting under the pear tree in my parents garden and talking to my grandad. I actually managed not to cut myself (which is a new thing I nearly always did when I was a child – not that it would stop me), I just don‘t know yet how to measure the size, or get the size right… I think there will be some more bamboo hooks in my near future… so far I am very happy how it turned out.

I will give it a try very soon…

Did your grandparents have such a great impact on your life? I never thought they would shape me that immensely but as I see it now they very much did. Probably because when I was a child, I spent a huge amount of time under their care. I like that I carry a part of their legacy with me.

Christina

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