In the world of crochet there are assorted holidays and occasions when crocheters are more likely to feel the searing heat of righteous indignation when a gift they have made has not been properly received.
The giftee did not say thank you. Or did not like it. Or never used it. Or gave it away to a nonprofit thrift store.
The gifter spent a substantial sum of money, spent an even more substantial amount of time, and was, in some fashion, humiliated by the giftee. Not only did the gifter spend money that could have been spent better elsewhere, she spent time — something she can never get back — and is faced with the realization that the person for whom this outlay and effort were made is not worth it — that is the usual cautionary crochet tale.
But today, the opposite of that is what happened to me.
My mother called me in the late afternoon to tell me that her cousin Bosa had passed away.
Bosa was a cousin who for most of my mother’s life, my mother did not know she had.
Then one night I found a perplexing entry on a record in the 1920 census. It seemed that my grandfather had a brother named Pete. I called my mother to ask her what she could tell me about this mysterious uncle who had shown up in the census.
As it happened, my mother could tell nothing because up until the moment I called to ask, she had not known she had an Uncle Pete. From there, I did what research I could and learned a bit about him, but other than the knowledge that he had existed, I didn’t learn much more until years later when a friend of the family, tasked with finding my mother, did.
That set in motion a series of events that resulted in my mother and Bosa visiting via Skype, and despite the distance of time and circumstance, it was easy for each of them to see themselves in the other.
I have found that in life there is a) a song for everything and b) (no matter what they naysayers and knitters might think) crochet makes everything better, so I got the idea to make a shawl to commemorate my mother finding and coming to know her long lost cousin.
The design I came up with was this deceptively simple six-petal join-as-you-go crochet flower:
I say deceptively simple because while the flower itself is easy to crochet, the use of a join-as-you-go technique made the project a bit more unruly than it would have been otherwise.
Because the pieces were not truly modular, on those occasions that I changed my mind about where a color belonged, I had more than the usual amount of work to do to remedy the situation and replace the offending flower with a more suitable color.
And then there were the ends to be woven in:
But I worked through my doubts, through my mistakes, and after twenty months, it was done:
I sent it off, and two months later it arrived.
Bosa loved the shawl I made for her, and it was reported to me that she said she had never had anything so beautiful.
So my regret is that I did not get this particular gift done sooner so that the person to whom I was giving it could enjoy it for a longer time, and the sting of that is far greater than anything I have ever experienced from giving a gift that went unacknowledged and under appreciated.
So as I move forward into this new year, I will take this lesson forward with me: Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can crochet today, because there is someone somewhere who is waiting for your gift and will receive it happily.