1. we laugh together really loud, really often
2. you are the recipient of my hand-made items
As much as I grouse about crafting for others, I do it with love. Something compels me to make things for the little ones in my life, as well as big people who will appreciate the work that goes into the project. I'm not a hugger, I'm a doer.
I think I learned this behavior from my maternal grandmother. I grew up in the same house as her, and she is a very handy lady. She can cook, knit, and sew circles around me... and she is 85. My growing-up years were spent watching her make things for bake sales (seemed like weekly), taking her turn doing the washing and mending of the alter cloths and robes for the church, knitting for every new baby, and more. She's not a hugger either, she's a doer. Last winter I decided to make something just for her.
I had a small amount of mustard-yellow fine mohair yarn in my stash for a while. Yellow is my grandma's favorite color so I decided to try my hand at lace knitting and make her a neck scarf. I was knitting along just fine for about 5 inches....until....scratch, scratch....teary-eyes....I can't see. I discovered that mohair and I didn't get along very well. My eyes were really swollen and red and kind of scaley. I felt like a cat with a hairball stuck in her throat. It was very unattractive.
However, I did what every good knitter would do, I went into denial and kept knitting. Certainly, it wasn't the mohair. It couldn't be! Must be my hand lotion, or the chlorine from the swimming pool, or my shampoo! There were visits to 2 different doctors and various remedies (including changing my hand lotion and shampoo) - and, yet, I still kept knitting. Eventually, I had to admit that it was the yarn but I was making this for my grandma and, dang it, it was going to get done!
After weeks of itchy eyes, I finished the lace scarf. It was lovely. I packaged it up to mail to grandma, took my knitting bag to the cleaners for a good de-mohairing, and vacuumed everything. It took a few months for my symptoms to go away, but they eventually did. I had truly suffered for my art, and for my grandma.
|Alex modeling the scarf for me before it hit the mailbox.|
Alex's post from Monday is the inspiration for telling this story. It made me reflect on my relationships with the people that I care about. Do they know that I care? I know how stingy I am with affection. Then I thought about the yellow scarf. I thought about how important it was to me to finish it and give it to my grandma, even if my eyes itched. I was making it for her because it reminded me of her. I thought about her every time I picked the project up. I know it's lame, but, I think that is when you can say "there is love in every stitch".
So what, I'm not a hugger. But, I just might knit you a sweater...