"It's genetic!" heralds another youthful misdemeanour in this house. Sometimes the cause is a new, a very logical ( I approve), system of cat food storage that ensures that our cat gets both meat and fish equally. Sometimes this statement is said with reference to the wet floor after someone (my daughter or I) have had a bath, but more often than not it comes from the mouth of my husband as he spies a dressmaker's pin somewhere it shouldn't be. It makes me smile. I shouldn't – I should be very quiet – but I can't help it. I suppose it is what some people would describe as progress, I can remember my father dancing a not-too-merry-dance and exclaiming: "you are just like your mother!"
My daughter has started making clothes for her dolls, and we have threads and pins all over the house. Not just on her bed or floor, but on the dining room table and any surface to hand. No sooner have the stairs been vacuum cleaned than little tapeworm-like creatures reappear on the treads. Do not casually drape your arm on the arm of a sofa and do not walk without fear. A rogue pin was found outside the bathroom door, point upwards, wedged between the polished floorboards. A stab in the dark but you would have thought it was a stab to the heart.
My daughter received a beautiful pin cushion from Kate Haxell as payment for helping Kate on her Knit and Stitch stand at Alexandra Palace. I went to see what my daughter was doing before settling down to write this post, and she had it around her neck, and she was putting her favourite sewing needle safely away.
It really isn't a laughing matter. I could name several people who have had hospital treatment because they have trodden on a pin or needle. And, one person who stepped onto the tip of a fine double-pointed needle – much to their embarrassment.
I have several pincushions dotted around the house. The crochet apple pin cushion is the one that I have out today. It lives in the sewing box in my office. The crochet worm (not maggot) and stalk have been lost but other than that the crochet fabric has not been reduced to broken threads and holes because of the stabbing with pins and needles. The apple and worm were in fact made for a book presentation and were then converted into a pin cushion by filling the apple with scraps of cotton wadding from a quilting project. I would normally use sand because it conditions the needles and adds weight to the pincushion.
The stab in the heart reference reminded me of a workshop I did this time last year when the end product was a heart pin cushion. I will put it onto my website as a free download to celebrate St Valentine's Day.