I knit for a lot of reasons, but the knitting that is the most important to me, is knitted love for those I love. When I take on those projects, I knit my feelings into every stitch. The appearance of the final product doesn’t matter much. I hope that they love it though, and that a little bit of the care gets carried on in the finished product.
When R* became pregnant with her first child, I was thrilled! I immediately began work on a blue crocheted baby blanket. I was quite proud of the finished product. It was large and very warm. R thanked me, told me that it was perfect for the stroller, but I didn’t hear much about it after that. I did know that it got passed down to the next sibling, when little brother was born. I didn’t photograph it new. This was before the days of Ravelry, and I don’t think it occurred to me to photograph it. R sent me a recent picture of it now, though. At over 7 years old, it still looks pretty good!
When another beloved friend, D*, became pregnant, R asked me if I would be crocheting a blanket for her. I hadn’t planned on it. That first blanket took me forever and I felt like everyone gives blankets to new babies. I figured I’d do a sweater. But R told me that I really should do the blanket. She said she loved that blanket, that she always got comments on it, that it was the best one. So, off to the yarn store I went!
I bought yellow yarn because D didn’t want to know the gender of the baby. I decided to do the same pattern than R had liked it so much. I worked fast, but almost not fast enough. D’s baby was born premature and very, very sick. She was in the hospital for the first five months of her life. I knit furiously for her. I finished the blanket and started knitting preemie hats, socks, everything I could think of to keep this poor, tiny, desperately sick baby warm and covered in love.
I have a picture of her that that D asked me to describe rather than post because it is so sad and so painful to see. In the picture, the baby is in an incubator with a nasal canula in her nose. She is tiny, sick, and swollen. At that point, we didn’t know if she was going to make it. On her head is a pink hat that I knitted for her out of precious silk yarn – the softest I could find. On top of her is that yellow blanket I had begun before she was born.
D’s baby got out of that hospital eventually and is now an amazing, strong, happy, beautiful almost 4 year old girl. She has chosen the blanket that she sleeps with each night. It’s yellow and it has been with her since birth. Here she is today:
When people find out that I knit, they often tell me about the aunt or grandmother in their family who knit them so many intricate things with love. Often those things were totally hideous. But, 9 times out of 10, they still exist in a closet somewhere as a concrete thing that helps them remember their loved ones. Will my creations become heirlooms? I hope so, but I won’t ever know. If they do, I would have the rare opportunity to give love to a descendant that I may never have the chance to meet. I cannot imagine anything more special.
Here are some samples of the love that I have knitted or crocheted for friends and relatives:
*Names and relationships hidden to protect the innocent!