Warmer than any blanket I’ve known, stitched together from necessity ‒ no artistic aspirations – patches cut from old jumpers, usually from the back or sides that didn’t have balling or rubbed wool, escaped the hard wear of fronts and sleeves. My mother cut these pieces out, and by hand joined them with blanket stitch, firm and strong, then put some thin old yellow discarded blanket as a backing – what a weight and warmth was there. I could sit up in bed and point out what squares came from whose jumper ‒ my brother’s cable-stitch cream he wore on a school trip with the A cricket team, my first failed attempt at knitting, before I got the pattern right, and wouldn’t undo it, but put it at the back, where no-one could see it ‒ I thought, bright Fair Isle vests from Granny’s wartime efforts, hand-me-downs from well-meaning neighbours. Years later I could view these with pleasure, recall the warmth, without the pain of being recognised in their cast-off by someone walking down the street.
Ros Schulz spent her childhood in the Barossa Valley and Murray Mallee, before settling in Adelaide. Along with raising a family of four, she was a high school teacher for 12 years in country South Australia and Adelaide, and for a further year in London. She spent another 15 years as a TAFE lecturer in Communication Studies. With both poetry and prose pieces in South Australian and interstate publications, she has also been a long-term member of Adelaide’s Friendly Street Poets and a regular contributor to their anthologies.