A cautionary crochet tale

This past March when my youngest son was enjoying his last spring break of high school, we set out toward western North Carolina and spent a couple of days taking in the sights, one of which was the Carl Sandberg Home in Flat Rock, North Carolina.

At the time, I wrote a blog post about the telephone and the goats, but I had also made a note of a Carl Sandburg quote that the tour guide had shared while we were touring the house.

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. — Carl Sandburg

Yesterday while talking with my mother, that quote and the sentiment it embodies came back to me.

Many years ago (before I was blogging), someone close to me was going through a difficult time, and while we were not the best of friends, I decided that a small array of gifts was in order.

I tried to select items that were both pretty and functional, and I ended up including a pair of socks I had crocheted along with other items I had purchased.

I sent the package, it was reasonably well received, and life went on.

Then, yesterday, my mother shared with me something the person had said that demonstrated beyond any doubt that the person in question was not currently crochet worthy, had never been crochet worthy, and would probably never be crochet worthy.

It made me wish that I had not ever given her anything that I had made. I was experiencing giver’s remorse in the extreme.

Unable to go back the 15 years required to undo what I did, I instead focused on an old project with a new urgency. As my longtime readers might recall, I began work on what were to be two shawls for my mother’s two long-lost cousins. Then state fair season started, I set the shawls aside, and I never quite got back to them until now.

In the intervening time, one of the cousins has passed away, but the other remains, and I decided that I had better get busy, so I took the two shawls I had been working on in tandem:

Two six-petal flower crochet shawls to-be that figure into a cautionary crochet tale
Two six-petal flower crochet shawls to-be that figure into a cautionary crochet tale

and set out to join them into one.

As I began that process, I realized that the resulting shawl would be perfect for a six-foot tall woman, which, as it happens, my mother’s cousin is not. So I needed to both join the pieces and shorten one of them, which I did. Here is an overview of how it looked by late afternoon:

six petal crochet flowers crochet shawl
My progress on the crochet shawl as of late afternoon

along with this detail of the crocheted flowers that comprise the shawl:

six petal crochet flower crochet shawl
A detail of the six-petal crochet flower shawl

I cannot go back in time and retrieve the socks that I gave to someone who I had reason to suspect would be unworthy, but what happened to me can serve as a cautionary tale to you, my dear reader: when you have a crochet gift to give, make sure you give it to someone worthy of the time you have put into.

5 thoughts on “A cautionary crochet tale

  1. Where can I find the pattern for the Six Petal Flower Shawl? It is beautiful,

    Thank you,


  2. I always feel a lot of hesitation when it comes to giving crochet pieces away.
    The only persons I have given crocheted items are my son (a scarf and a matching hat) and my daughter (several shawls, a hat and some coasters).
    She studies architecture and is design conscious and up till now she likes what I made for her.
    I know what they like, that makes the difference.
    When I don’t know I don’t give pieces away.
    Except that I made a baby cardi a couple of weeks ago and that was also well received. But that was a really nice piece too! (Not my own design…)

  3. On the other hand, you never know what that act of kindness may trigger in the conscience of the receiver. Maybe not now, or tomorrow, but someday. We never know how we may affect others, or their soul, whatever evil they may have done.

  4. My daughter insisted I make her a hat and matching cowl for Christmas. Imagine my shock when I found them together in a local thrift store. I bought them back.

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