The memory is golden
Tuesday April 22nd 2008, 11:42 am
Filed under: Family,Life

Holz and Steins on the hoofSomeone was raving over their Addi needles, so I have to tell you the story of my Addis. My husband and I got married in 1980, when gold hit its then-all-time-high of $380 an ounce just at the time we were shopping for rings. We were students, romantically and completely broke like all young-in-loves ought to be. “Teaches you to live frugally,” my favorite old high school history teacher told me about starting out that way–my mom worked at that school, and I’d stopped by to say hi for old times’ sake before the wedding. (Hi again, Bill Cormeny, wherever you are out there.) Then he guffawed–“Teaches you poverty!”

Richard and his dad each had a bum tooth that had gone through a number of gold fillings, and his dad had collected the gold each time they’d been replaced. Dad Hyde had wanted to try playing with them for some time, and this was his chance. Their dentist went in on the project with him: they got our ring sizes, got some casts, melted those down–it was 20k, quite soft (22K?)–and created wedding bands for us that were plain and simple and like nobody else’s anywhere as far as we knew. It was quirky, it was creative, it was frugal, and I found it totally charming, other than that it felt like cheating that I wasn’t really giving him a ring from me so much as permission to wear that one.

So, with that mindset in the background of Richard feeling like gold was still somehow stratospherically expensive, when I found out that Addi was selling gold-plated knitting needles (which have since been discontinued), I plotted with my daughter, who’d been wondering what to give me for Christmas. They actually cost less than my beloved and now-also-discontinued Holz and Steins, and I could just picture knitting in waiting rooms and the like with them: talk about a way to open up a conversation with one’s knitting! Good as gold!

Not to mention. I opened that present on the day, trying to play innocent and not grin too hard at my frugal husband’s expense.

He totally fell for it. GOLD knitting needles! He was trying to bite his tongue, and totally failing at it. Isn’t that taking this knitting habit of yours a bit too–I mean, how could–Michelle…!

If only I had a video of his face just then to show the future grandkids. It was so priceless.knit with these and you’re golden

11 Comments so far
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1980–I was expecting child #3 and we had no room the front porch was gutted but we needed insulation and sheetrock, so there went the high school rings and any broken gold chains we had, we wound up with enough money to finish the room!!

the new Addi lace have a pretty gold color to them, they too look la de dah!!!

Comment by grace 04.22.08 @ 1:55 pm

Gold knitting needles — that is funny. I was graduating college, and had knit my first sweater, which I still own.

Comment by Renee 04.22.08 @ 5:08 pm

A little birdie told me that Catherine Knits has a new supply of Holtz and Stein needles. I bought a few from her a couple years ago-I was pleased with the service and I love the needles (but of course!)

Comment by Michelle 04.22.08 @ 6:26 pm

Ha! Ha! Did you let him sweat for a little while? 🙂

Comment by Toni 04.22.08 @ 7:31 pm

well we got married a couple of years before you but we were as broke as you were lol Oh I wish I could have seen his face – Now I am more of a white gold or silver person myself so my regular Knit Picks look fancy enough hehehe Although I have to admit to getting a set of the Harmony needles since I am a sucker for colorful wooden needles too 😉

Comment by rho 04.22.08 @ 7:46 pm

Toni–just long enough. Heh.

And I should clarify: my understanding is that Holz and Stein quit exporting to the US, being a small company that wanted to stay that way but finding themselves hugely popular. After all, the idea of making needles from the leftover wood from making musical instruments, and making superb needles at that, what’s not to love? Every now and then some of their needles do find their way here after all; thank you for the heads-up, Michelle!

And Rho–I just ordered some denim blue wooden Grafton needles from Vermont yesterday that look like the tips will be like my Holz and Steins. I like my wooden Harmonys too, but the vivid multiple colors constantly distract me from seeing my stitches. Blame it on the head injury.

Comment by AlisonH 04.22.08 @ 7:48 pm

Ah, the good ol’ days when every crumb of life was savored & appreciated! 🙂
Love the gold addis & the H&Ss, too! Thanks for this lovely story. 🙂

Comment by Toni 04.23.08 @ 4:55 am

What a wonderful little collection of stories there. And I think anyone without the chance to live hand to mouth, at least briefly, misses something. 😉 (Believe it or not, I am the penny-pincher in our house. Hence, the agony over the spinning wheel purchase…)

Comment by Channon 04.23.08 @ 6:56 am

Those rings are priceless!

Comment by Sonya 04.23.08 @ 2:11 pm

I love that your wedding rings started off as fillings – that is so creative and unique. Had to laugh about your husband’s expression – mine would react in exactly the same way!

Comment by PrincessPea 04.23.08 @ 2:53 pm

I would so totally buy gold knitting needles. If I could afford it. Oooh…shiny!

I like the ring story too. That’s so cool.

Comment by Carol 04.23.08 @ 8:06 pm

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