T’hats who those skeins were for
Monday March 08th 2010, 11:54 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knitting a Gift

I didn’t realize till afterwards that what I’d been waiting for was to see them receive them in person.  I hoped each one would choose and like their own particular hat–but you never know. What is a given, though, is that kids are transparent in their emotional reactions to things and I would know if someone still needed soothing afterwards with something they liked better. I think I needed to know that.  And so I’d hesitated.

Only the baby was having none of it, even when we tried playing peek-a-boo from under the wool, but he was tired and it was something unfamiliar.  Tomorrow he’ll be grinning and cooing and playing happily.

So the story is this: word was that Brian‘s family was here visiting grandparents for a day or two. I knew that grandparent time is precious; I knew that when there is great pain, a family gathered round in the strength of home may feel intruded upon by outsiders who simply can never quite entirely know.  I hesitated for several hours–but at last, I called and asked if I might borrow a moment of their day.

They readily welcomed me on over.

I told them how, several years ago, one good deed begat another good deed till, to my delight, a surprise box full of Blue Moon Fiber Arts yarns from Tina at BMF arrived on my doorstep–and then, I told them, every time I went to go knit the Silkie, trying to honor her gift by making good use of it, that one yarn just kept telling me, No. Not yet. For nearly three years it would not let me knit it. Last year at Stitches I bought two more skeins in the “Love” colorway, and it too resisted my needles.

Until recently.  Now I knew why.

So except for the first hat, before I figured out what I was doing, all the hats had a strand of Silkie; they were all individual, given that I knit in two strands, but all my hats were in the same family.   (Even the non-Silkie had the other strand overlapping.)  I pointed out the one hat that was completely different and described my longtime online friend Karin driving six hours round trip to finally get to meet me in person when we were in Vermont a year and a half ago; she’d wanted to knit a hat, too, for them, to convey her support. I told them how the folks at Purlescence had wanted to offer up their own goodwill towards them and wouldn’t let me pay full price on the matching yarns.

They loved them.  Each child picked one while making sure the others got one they liked, too; I was impressed.

The dad lined everybody up, seated me in the center, hats on all, and I looked around and went, “What, no bunny ears?!” The kids cracked up. (While the baby tried to pull his off.)

Their second-youngest son was whittling away on a stick during most of this, as happy as a knitter with cashmere in hand, and he grinned at me with his turquoise hat on his head.

When I left, he was outside in the garden, whittling away some more, totally immersed in his creation, hat on head, totally happy.  Yes.  Oh, thank you, thank you! I wanted to tell him.

When he gets older and his fine motor skills mature, maybe we’ll get some really cool knitting needles from his woodworking. You never know where a moment will take someone.

12 Comments so far
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How warm your heart must have felt – still feel! Thank you for sharing this precious moment with us. 🙂

Comment by Suzanne in Mtl 03.09.10 @ 6:33 am

How nice you got to see the hats being worn by Brian’s family.

Comment by LynnM 03.09.10 @ 7:43 am

I am happy to hear how well it all went. You did well.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 03.09.10 @ 7:45 am

I’m so pleased you were able to give those hats in person. I’m sure they all felt the love in each individual stitch. It’s one for the “memory book” for them.

Comment by Joansie 03.09.10 @ 9:08 am

I bet they were delighted you presented them in person too… except maybe for the baby. 😉

Comment by Channon 03.09.10 @ 10:58 am

I didn’t initially notice the yarn being used as the project was, to my mind, one of the heart but as I read this post, I was reminded of the legends/songs of The Silkie. Do you know them? They are stories of entrapment and transformation and I wonder if your yarn choice was also about recognizing those conditions in Brian’s life and death? Regardless, once again, heart over head!

Comment by Joan 03.09.10 @ 11:28 am

It’s not that I disbelieve you, but I have a hard time realizing that inanimate objects “talk”. Well, apparently you can hear.

Fun –

A navy destroyer was passing an old frigate off the coast of Bermuda when one of the sailors noticed that the other ship was drifting right into the path of the destroyer. He alerted the captain who immediately contacted the frigate. “Have you lost your anchor?” asked the captain. The response: “No, sir, I know exactly where it is — 5 miles back.”

Comment by Don Meyer 03.09.10 @ 11:31 am

The best :-}

Comment by Diana Troldahl 03.09.10 @ 12:50 pm

Awesome! It’s always extra fun to see the stuff we make being worn, used, played with, etc. I always tell them “wear it out.” I like to hear, “It’s been loved to pieces, can you make me another?” Blessings to you for all the good you share.

Comment by DebbieR 03.09.10 @ 2:40 pm

The grin from the whittler captured it all, didn’t it?

Comment by twinsetellen 03.09.10 @ 5:00 pm

There’s nothing like smiling kids.

Comment by RobinM 03.09.10 @ 5:41 pm

Thank you for allowing me to be included in the giving.

Comment by karin maag-tanchak 03.12.10 @ 12:47 pm

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