And the afghan lived on
Tuesday January 31st 2012, 10:40 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knit,Life

You have to post that story, Holly told me.

I was sure I already had. But using every search phrase I could think of on the blog, I’m not finding it. So here goes.

They were about to move away, and I know how the impending sense of loss at such times brings friends closer together and the emotions high.

I was talking a moment to Curtis, the husband, at church on I think their last Sunday before they left California, and in that conversation, he started to say something about an afghan his grandma had knit him.

Only, with such a sudden halting sense to his voice that I immediately picked up on it and went, “Does it need to be repaired? I’d be glad to,” before he said another word, hoping I wasn’t getting myself into too much.

The relief and joy and sudden hope in his face!

When he’d been in high school, his grandma had offered to knit him an afghan. Anything he liked; his choice. Years later telling me this, he said, And I asked for black. I had no idea what I was asking of her.

I smiled and nodded that yes, black stitches are hard to see to work with and really hard as you get older. I sympathized with Grandma with him.

But she had knit it because she loved him and he had been thrilled. He held it all the more closely when she died, love meeting loss and finding warmth in the dark places.

And then his cat had gotten to it. It was torn in four spots. He was heartbroken and had no idea what to do with it except to put it in the closet and hope that at some point in the future something somehow could be done.

I would be honored to give it my best, I told him.

And so later he swung by the house with it, knocking on my door to hand it over. One look and I told him, Oh, good. This won’t take very long at all, if you don’t mind waiting.

His wife was in the car with their two little kids, who were sick, and they hadn’t wanted to expose me so they’d stayed in there and he didn’t want to leave them waiting alone and not knowing how long I’d be.

Well then. I picked up my yarn needle and, afghan in hand, walked out to the sidewalk next to their car and plunked myself down. Let the kids wave hi and watch if they want, and besides, I wanted to see them and his wife every moment I could.

The afghan had been fairly loosely knit out of a nice, soft wool. That looseness made it vulnerable to a good cat-claw snag and there were long pulls in it–all I had to do was work the yarn back into the sides to where it belonged, here, here, here, and a little bit over down here. Not a single break.

I told him he had done the right thing: he hadn’t lopped off the loops and that had saved it.

The whole thing took maybe five minutes. There was such an intense joy the whole time. Curtis, Jenna, the kids, getting a little extra time with them before they left–but it was also as if his grandma herself were standing chuckling over my shoulder, glad to see her work restored to go hug the great-grands with.

9 Comments so far
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What a fabulous gift! Thank you. It reminds me of the tears in the parking lot when I gave a friend her baby shower gift. I’d missed the shower, but had knitted her a blanket. It was early in my return to knitting, so it wasn’t worth crying over by any means… except that I had no way of knowing my friend had been raised by her grandmother, and while the good woman was still alive, her hands were unable to knit a blanket for the third (and final) child my friend would have. Makes me a little misty all these years later, but no coincidences.

Comment by Channon 02.01.12 @ 6:57 am

Reminds me of the “teddy bear quilt” my sister-in-law made for us–my grandson needed it so badly after a traumatic experience. These “handmade with love” things are so special.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 02.01.12 @ 8:15 am

nice — yes, a dark color could have been a real problem to work on, but what it really needed was just an experienced knitter to take a look!

and isn’t it grand when we can give such joy so easily?

Comment by Bev 02.01.12 @ 9:58 am

I love it when a skill we take for granted can give so much!

Comment by Diana Troldahl 02.01.12 @ 10:12 am

Yes, it is so wonderful when we can use our skills to help someone. Occasionally someone will ask me to make up a ‘flyer’ for some extra event, and I’m happy to comply. Usually takes more than five minutes, though. You know, of course, is that the reward you get is the joy you give.

Comment by Don Meyer 02.01.12 @ 10:38 am

wonderful story!

Comment by melanie 02.01.12 @ 11:57 am

Oh joy! That’s what counts. I have been sewing and knitting for so long that mending things is usually no big deal. And yet when you fix the super-special quilt/sock/shirt/blanket, the reward of those delighted eyes is so fun! Thanks for sharing. Those kids watching Daddy’s afghan being restored will learn to treasure it.

Comment by DebbieR 02.01.12 @ 2:15 pm

Nicely done, on all fronts.

Comment by twinsetellen 02.01.12 @ 9:39 pm

you know what’s *really* rewarding? mending the missionaries’ clothing. it’s usually nothing more than a split seam, or replacing a button or fixing a hem. it literally takes more time to find the right color thread and put it in the machine than it does to sew the seam. it seems like magic to them, it’s easy for me, and everyone feels happy. i recommend it to anyone with basic sewing skills.

Comment by Tola 02.02.12 @ 10:21 am

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