Thursday, August 28, 2008
masterpiece, in my mind
There is so much I could say about this sweater. It is made of the softest cotton and the happiest combination of colors. It fits my little guy perfectly, I mean, everything about it. The size AND the brightness of it. Plus, I have a secret fetish for all things striped (and polka dotted.) However, the extraordinary thing about it is how very special it is. My mom made it for my son. It was incredibly precious the moment he opened it with her, and they put it on together.
I feel guilty about the gifts that have been made by hand for me or my children which I may not have fully appreciated. There have been many times I did not understand the hours and hours of work that went into a handmade gift (like the sweaters my mom and mother-in-law made for my daughter when she was born, or the hickory nuts my dad meticulously picked out with a needle for gifts every Christmas.) Other times I was just too busy to slow down and properly thank someone. (Sorry Margie that I never sent a thank you note for that beautiful scarf!)
This time, though, I got it. I understand that my mom choose to make something very elaborate by any of my knitting standards. I understood that this meant alot to her. It was fun to watch this sweater come together over time and anticipate my little guy wearing it.
When I was pregnant the first time, my mom gave me a children's book along with the sweater she knit for my daughter. It's a favorite around here.... Eileen Spinelli's "Sophie's Masterpiece." The spider knits a blanket for a baby and incorporates "moonlight," "snippets of fragrant pine," and "old lullabies" into the weaving. As she finished, "Sophie wove into the blanket her very own heart."
For me, that pretty much sums the experience of making something by hand for someone. It is more than just a combination of materials and time. A part of me alway goes into every project. The greater my love for that person, the greater my emotion in the making of that object. It is ultimately what seperates an object that is industrially produced from that which is crafted by hand... emotion and time.
I can see love woven throughout this sweater. I don't think I'm imagining it. I'm pretty sure my little guy can feel it too.