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July 19, 2014

This rocking chair has been in the family a very long time.

I've always known it as "Grandmother Whitmer's Sewing Rocker."  My mother vividly remembers watching her grandmother sit in this little rocker while she made rag rugs for the poor.  We assume she bought it used, and there's no markings on it.  Perhaps I should check the Sears catalog?

It passed down to my mother, and lived in various rooms. I even had it in my bedroom for a while, and somewhere along the line I decided I was going to fix it, because the seat was falling apart.  I learned how to weave with fiber rush!  I did an OK job for a teenager.  It holds up well to sitting, but it looks a bit messy. The important part is that it's still useable!   

So imagine my surprise when I walked by the Birds of Prey Thrift Shop in Louisville, CO, and saw this sitting on the sidewalk!  Ridiculously cheap.

I actually passed it by the first time.  And the second.  I didn't NEED another rocking chair.  We already had an antique wooden one Brian's grandfather made.  It was just a rescue instinct, because I knew I could fix that little chair, no problem, and who else would want it?  I could SAVE IT.  Plus it's SMALL.  The rocker only stands 31" tall, the seat is 16" from the floor.  

Next thing I knew, I was impulsively calling my mother to ask if her rocker had mysteriously disappeared and followed me (nope, she was sitting on it at that moment!) and if I had any more of the seat material left over somewhere in her house.  (Alas, no.)  We chatted about the rocker a bit.  Then I found myself with the chair in my hands, babbling at the clerk about my history with this chair.  He gave me a discount!  I think he was just happy to see it go.  

The frame structure is in good shape, the only thing I can see wrong with it is that there's a dent in the top back rung, and the seat is missing.  There may have been repair work done to a back leg at one point, but it's not shaky or loose at all.  I managed to fit it in the back seat of my coupe!

I like that it's low to the ground and has a small footprint.  Rockers tend to take up a lot of space.  I always found the other rocker to be very comfortable to sit in, so I'm hoping this one will be too.  I'm looking forward to sitting in it to see!

Update 9/19/2014:  I finished the seat!  Click here to see Rocking Chair: Part 2.