Sunday, February 18, 2007

Serendipity

The topic for this month's blogalong at Blogger's Paradise is "Serendipity"

Many years ago, when we still lived in California, I wanted to find a certain book about Norwegian knitting that I had seen referenced in other books. It had been out of print for a number of years, and these were the days before we had access to the Internet, so I turned to the public library. They took my request, and I waited and waited and waited and almost forgot about it. But about three months later it arrived, all the way from Iowa. I hated to send it back, but of course I did.

Several years after that we were in Decorah, Iowa, visiting the wonderful Vesterheim Museum. I had made arrangements in advance and their extremely gracious staff allowed me to examine some of their collection of knitted mittens and gave me access to their library for the afternoon (I was researching an article that ultimately never did see print). Among a number of resources, I found again my little book. By this point in time new publications on Scandinavian/Norwegian knitting had come out, and I had several in my collection; but I was happy to see it all the same and copied as many pages as I felt I legitimately could.

More years passed. We had moved to Wisconsin, and one day went into a used book store just off State Street in Madison. It is my experience that used book stores don't often have very large knitting collections (is this because knitters hold onto their books, or the because stores don't have sense to snap up every one they can get their hands on?) But I always cruise over to the craft section to check it out. And this time, there it was:



Needless to say, I brought it home with me.

8 comments:

Elizabeth said...

As a former used bookstore owner, and a child of booksellers, I can tell you that there just aren't a lot of good knitting books to be had. And when a few turn up, they get snapped up quickly, so they tend not to collect in the store.

I've never seen that one of yours. It looks like a good one!

CatBookMom said...

That story is of a level that could be in Ripley's Believe it or Not! Guess I'll go write my own post, about a much less amazing coincidence.

Jacquie said...

What a lovely story, and I am so glad you now have your very own copy. I collect knitting books. I was quite shocked at how large my collection is when I came to sort through them recently. If other knitters are like me then letting go of a single one is totally out of the question so I am not surprised they don't turn up very often. And it is quite unbelievable how much out of print knitting books like Alice Starmore's and June Hiat's go for on ebay.

Cindy G said...

Based on my own hoarding behavior, I thought it might be the knitters holding on to their books. Thanks Elizabeth and Jacquie, for adding support to this theory.

And thanks for joining the fun, CMB, that's a neat story.

junior_goddess said...

I just browsed some used ones, and was SHOCKED by the prices!

RUTH said...

You were truly meant to have that book. A wonderful story.

Knitbert said...

What a great story, I love finding a really good book in a secondhand bookstore! I wonder of yours was an ex-library copy....

Cindy G said...

I'm guessing it might have come from an estate sale. It was published in Oslo in 1952 (though the text is in English.It doesn't have any marking that would indicate it came from a library, though no markings to indicate personal ownership, either.