I first started making presents for people in my life when I was 9 and my cousin and I decided to make a clown doll for Margie Dinardo. We snuck into my godfathers tailor shop and got all the scraps we could find. For the skin fabric I used a white tshirt that I thought my mother would not mind me cutting into. I can’t remember if my momma found out or not but I do remember that the clown doll did not come out as planned but Margie still liked it anyway.
I can’t count how many handmade presents I have made in my life but I can count how many I have received from others and they are countable on my hands and feet. Most of those were wonderfully and lovingly made gifts for my babies and how I have cherished them but to this day no one (other than my own children) has ever taken the time to make me something ,just for me, for no reason other than love, with their own two hands.
When my friend Charlei told me a few months ago that she was going to make me a sweater, I responded with “What??? Wow, thanks”. I figured that she is super busy and has lots to do so maybe I might get this sweater for Christmas and then I filed that thought away in the don’t think about it file. Then a few days later she started sending me patterns and asking for specific colors. Soon enough I was getting pics of progress on this sweater that would someday be mine. Truth be told, I love my friend so much that she could have never made me one thing and I would love her just the same but…
A few days ago, I got a box in the mail. It was address by her and it was a bit heavy. The kids circled that box until I was able to get away from the pile of bread dough I was kneading on the counter. The box was full of things for all of us. So many fun and thoughtful gifts but the sweater, Oh my goodness. It is made from Royal Alpaca and it is softer than any yarn I have ever worked with I’m sure!
Pulling that sweater out of the box, holding it in my arms and putting it on was better than what I had expected. I made a promise to wear it all winter. The kids began wishing for a Charlei sweater of their own and then I had to dispense with the warnings.
Those warnings went something like this: If anyone washes this sweater, you are dead (in the nicest way of course). If you touch mamas sweater, you are dead, if you find it and in the process of putting it away decide to try it on, you are dead. So we all agreed that no one would so much as look at it for a very long time.
This sweater is more than just a sweater. It represents the time that it takes to make each stitch, the love put into picking the yarn, the pattern, the wooden buttons. It is time away from other projects to make something that I can cherish and in the end feel loved.
What is the best handmade thing you have received?