Go Martingale!
Tuesday June 26th 2007, 12:37 pm
Filed under: "Wrapped in Comfort",afghans for Afghans,Friends,Knit

imgp2162.JPGI want to sing Martingale’s praises for a moment.

My final deadline re the book was mid-January. In late February, I went to Stitches West, ran into Ann Rubin, and knew exactly who that Barn Swallows scarf had been meant for all along.

When I knitted it, it had absolutely demanded to be made in laceweight in that taupe color that it’s shown in in my “Wrapped in Comfort” book. That is emphatically not my color, but nothing else would do. I did not know why. I did knit it again in other yarns, but it felt like, for the book, that taupe laceweight was what it absolutely had to be.

After I blocked it, I thought the edges would look more solid if I were to redo it with one plain stitch extra at each side edge–but then I would have had to spend hours looking at that taupe again, and frankly, I didn’t know any good enough reason to do so to motivate me, not in that color, and I just didn’t get around to it.

I wrote a caption for the main picture of each project. But the one for the Barn Swallows scarf never pleased me, never felt finished, never felt like I could rewrite it well enough, and I had no idea why.

And then I saw Ann. I recognized her from previous Stitches events as I gave her this wool afghan for her Afghans for Afghans charity; she didn’t recognize me, which was fine. One look at her and I knew that taupe was exactly the right color for her, that it would be absolutely beautiful on her. (If only I had known that, I could have anticipated specifically and been just peachy-fine knitting up that color again and adding those edge stitches!)

Had that scarf been a warm one, Ann would have felt morally absolutely obligated to pass it along to the people she serves in Afghanistan, and rightfully so; their needs are so much greater than ours. We have so much here. But it was a wispy little thing, a decorative little thing, a thank you for the work she does for so many people, encouraging knitters to give of their wool, talents, and time, helping those in need not just to receive physical warmth but human warmth as well: the tangible evidence that someone from around the world wanted to reach out to them and wish them well. And yet–it’s okay for her to feel thanked and reminded that people are grateful for her efforts, too. (That took some convincing from me, much though she loved the thing. She didn’t want to in any way put herself above the other volunteers.)

Changing a manuscript so very late in the publishing process is, my daughter with a college minor in editing tells me, very expensive. But after I gave Ann that scarf, I knew exactly what I wanted to do and what that caption had needed to be all along and why it had felt inadequate before. Martingale put people over profits and immediately agreed with me. We changed it, and they added A4A to the Resources page as well. I must say, I think that new caption totally makes the book, it ends it exactly perfectly.

I don’t have a new picture of the afghan I gave Ann that day at Stitches, nor of the original scarf–which arrived back from Martingale the first day of Stitches, exquisitely perfect timing on their part–so, you’ll have to put up with this old photo.

How that afghan came to be is a whole ‘nother post.

4 Comments so far
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Yay! Ann is wonderful. 🙂

Comment by Romi 06.26.07 @ 3:20 pm

Oh, isn’t she!? You walk into her view and you instantly know you’re in the presence of a friend.

Comment by AlisonH 06.26.07 @ 3:48 pm

My book came yesterday and I love it! Nobody else’s shawls are like yours. I can’t decide what to make first.

Comment by Caroline 06.27.07 @ 5:05 am

Very nice.

Comment by Amanda 06.30.07 @ 10:32 pm

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