Darning Egg

White alabaster darning egg in a dish
White alabaster darning egg in a dish

We all held so much curiosity in our hearts and minds when we were all around the age of four or five. On the shelf in my grandma’s china cabinet, right at the eye level of little 4 year old me, sat an egg. My sister and I loved this egg. Every time we visited my grandparent’s house we expressed our fascination with it, my grandma didn’t want us touching it because it had such a special meaning to her. It was her grandmother’s darning egg, it had been around for a very long time and even made the trip to America from Germany. While she really didn’t want my sister and I to break it, of course she finally caved and let us hold it very carefully. First we took our left hand, then our right, and made a little pocket so that the egg would perfectly fit in the protective cushion we had just made. Now that our grandmother finally trusted us with this great responsibility, that’s the only thing my sister and I looked forward to at the end of the night after spending time at their house. My great great grandma used this darning egg over 100 years ago to repair holes in socks, back then you couldn’t just throw out a sock because hand-knitting them was time consuming. I think this object shows a wonderful representation of how life was lived in the early 1900s for housewives. For example, each scratch and dent in the top of the egg shows how much love was put into using it. I’m so glad this darning egg is still kept in the family and I wish to keep it for as long as possible.

Place(s): Germany

– Julia Pappania

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more