Vivian Treasures and Food Friday

This Shabbat is a real rarity. We have been invited to Shabbat dinner at the homes of friends two weeks in a row.  This is an heard of luxury.


I used this short Friday to deal with a bit more of the ironing backlog.


This white linen cloth is one of the Vivian treasures.  It’s 36 inches square. European linen is often coarser than than used in American cloths.  I might be completely wrong and the coarseness of the linen might be a matter of when the linen was produced rather than the country of origin.


I am a complete sucker for these cloths decorated with bands of crochet.  Someone spent hours crocheting up miles and miles of this  butterfly  or lily patterned ribbon.


The cloth has several less than elegant joins of the crochet work.  I am quite fond of the crude joining. I love seeing the evidence of a less than perfect  craftswoman just doing the best that she can.



I had washed this cloth in a pillowcase in the machine . There were several small rips in the lace.  it was less awful than I had anticipated doing the repairs with white sewing thread



As I ironed I saw some spots that need more work. My own repair work is nearly invisible.


I’m really glad that I didn’t have the job of crocheting the miles of openwork. I think I would have  pretended that my eyes were going or that I had a bad case of the vapors.


The cloth was purchased either in Austria or in Germany. I used it over a dark blue cloth to show off the pretty crocheting.   I suppose I could just keep the cloth and not use it. I prefer to use it , enjoy it and repair it as needed.

Uncharacteristically for a Friday, I also baked bagels. bagiles (1)bagiles (2)


But in the parlance of our family the home made variety are called “bajiles”.  We have often said that we are amazed that our kids are able to speak to outsiders at all.  When we all get together we speak an odd dialect of English.


These bajiles are made with a mix of white flour, quinoa, and wheat berries.


  1. The lace is so beautiful and so worth trying to preserve. You deserve a medal for your efforts. And those bagels look yummie!

  2. Sarah, I applaud your decision to use the textiles instead of hiding them away. You are an artist and can do wonders with repairing them when the need arises; your work here is truly invisible. I think, though, that the lace on the white linen cloth is bobbin lace. Here is an example for comparison:

    I do crochet, taught by my Grandmother when I was about 7, and I can see no crochet stitches in your cloth. I too have some heirloom linen pieces, and I hope I can do as well as you've done, when I need to repair them.

  3. It's actually less difficult to do the repairs than you would think. Because there is so much air between the worked areas often just a stitch or two fixes the damaged parts right up. I did use a darning egg to help with the thread tension.

    I have another cloth which I adore... I will post photos of it another day. Marlosh you will need to help me with the terminology. We called it Mrs Lustig work because my grandmother's friend Mrs. Lustig gave my grandmother dresser scarves made out ot this form of crochet. I Inherited an table cloth from Vivian using the same sort of work with the same pattern. Fixing that cloth was really easy and gave me courage to just fix the cloths as they needed it. So many of the textiles from Vivian were repaired over the years. It makes me much more comfortable attempting the repairs. Not all of the work done by Vivian family is all that perfect or even nice looking. I know my attempts at repair won't be any worse than theirs. It feels like I ham having a needle work conversation over time with the women who made the cloths and also repaired them over the years.


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