Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Susan Bates

We take pride in our "notions" for knitting, crochet and needlepoint in the shop.  There are all sorts of tiny gadgets to help you pull a needle through a canvas, or protect your knitting project from falling off the needles, or a plastic thingy to keep small amounts of yarn handy for multi-strand knitting.  I don't know much about that ( Multi- strand)so I refrain from writing about it. 

However, I do know about gadgets, and so I went to find out about one of the ladies frequently mentioned on the notions wall -- Susan Bates.  My favorite "Bates" creation is the knit check -- known by other names, but the checker is the best moniker IMHO.  You can check your needle size (who can read those tiny numbers?) and you can check your gauge.... because does anyone really make those swatch thingies? and it also is a tiny measuring device.  I always thought Susan came up with this.

But I found out -- my research -- THERE WAS NO SUSAN BATES!!!

The original name of the company was the C. J. Bates & Son -- and when they needed a name for their new line of needlework implements, they just arbitrarily called it Susan Bates.   Apparently they were hoping for an icon like Betty Crocker.  I was very disappointed -- I had been thinking that there was some wise, Jane Austen type knitter who came up with all these nifty things. 

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