Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How to Mail a Hug

Every so often, the topic of who is “knit-worthy” or in general terms worthy of a hand-made gift comes up on Ravelry. I had always thought that my best strategy for figuring out who was “worthy” was to give a low-investment gift (meaning something I’m not emotionally invested in making, much like the two Jaywalker Scarfs I gifted a year ago).

You give the zero-baggage gift to a person. If they react positively (as in the case of those scarfs), then they’re worthy of future handmade gifts. If they brush it off, then No Soup For You! And they’re off of the list.

That’s it. Two categories. Nice and clean. Then, in August, I discovered a third category. Something you are compelled to knit for someone. You have a consuming emotional need to DO something.

As many of you remember, on the first day of the Olympic Games, a family that I respect, admire and care for deeply suffered an unspeakable tragedy.

There was nothing I could do from here. I hope desperately that the two interviews I conducted on August 9 were well-received by the family. Telling the world how wonderful Todd and Barb and their family are was quite literally the only thing that I could do.

As the days and weeks went by, it became obvious to me that I needed to do something else for this family.

So I started to knit.

The family’s company color is purple.

I needed something functional that wasn’t size specific. Here’s what I came up with.

I listened to the sage advice of Turtlegirl and weighed the first of my three skeins. Completed the increase section and weighed again. I made note of how much yarn I needed for the increase section (in weight) and when I had that much left on my last skein, it was time to decrease. So I did. And I didn’t have much left

The finished project was mailed to Minnesota just before I left for the Lake for that last stay at the end of September. I haven’t gotten any kind of confirmation that it arrived, but that’s OK. It was made with love and I hope it brings some comfort.

A Hug for Barb

Pattern: Clapotis by Kate Gilbert from Knitty.com, Fall 2004
Yarn: Dream in Color Classy
Color: Visual Purple
Source: Bloomin Yarns
Needles: KnitPicks Options US 10
Started: 23 August 2008
Finished: 10 September 2008
Mods: Knit until I ran out of yarn, with love.


Trillian42 said...

I completely understand. When a friend of mine lost her son (Alex of "Hats for Alex") I NEEDED to knit something for her. I did "Cozy", and it was exactly the same thing - a hug from long distance.

Jessie said...

You are a good friend.

Being able to knit for someone is such a cool thing. I dunno about you, but I think about the recipient the entire time I am making what I are making. It starts and ends with them. I feel like somehow, all of those thoughts and prayers are knit into every stitch.

turtlegirl76 said...

It is gorgeous. A perfect expression of your thoughts and concern and respect for the family. I hope it brought the comfort it was meant to.

SJ said...

It's really beautiful and I know it will be very well appreciated. That's really a lovely and thoughtful gift to make.

Jenn said...

It's beautiful and I'm sure it's loved very much!

ali said...

What a beautiful hug. I have no connection with the family, other than living my whole life in Minnesota and growing up familiar with their purple Bachman's logo, and knowing there where lovely flowers behind every one.
I remember hearing the news first thing in the morning (I wake to talk radio) and being a bit shaken, even with no real connection- it was just an awful crime.
You are a lovely person indeed to put so much thoughtfulness into that beautiful hug- what a blessing to receive a gift like that after such a tragedy- I hope your gift helped restore a little faith in mankind to the family, after the shaking such faith must've receive in light of their circumstances.

Bless you!

happy knitting-

Donna Lee said...

What a lovely way to send a hug through the mail. Sometimes you just feel a need to do something and it looks like you found something good.

MollyBeees said...

OMGosh! That is GORGEOUS! Although my situation was no where near as horrible as theirs, I received a hand knit shawl for a lady I'd only met a couple of times. I sat right down and cried. It was amazing to receive such a personal, lovely item and it felt like a hug indeed. Still does every time I put it on. I think of her and her caring and selflessness for a person she hardly knows!

('No Soup For You'! Snort!

Daniele said...

What a wonderful, thoughtful thing to do. :)

HB said...

What a beautiful thing to do. I'm sure they'll feel your love and support everyt time they use it.

Dana said...

I love it. I'm sure it will be well received. What a great gift to help comfort someone who touched your life.