Yesterday, Girlfriend and I went to her tutor's home for the last time this summer. To show our appreciation, together we made her something. By hand.
Knitting or making gifts for others can be a crapshoot. Like I've said before, the people in my life don't usually appreciate hand-made items. There are people that knitters would consider "knit-worthy" and I can count maybe three people in my circle who would really appreciate a pair of knit socks, a cap, or something that I've sewn.
So, I don't normally knit for anyone anymore. One of the last times I knit for someone, I got totally burned. My step-father, now gone--so I feel comfortable saying so--once opened a gift of socks that I knit for him. Once he realized what they were, he literally said "eww" and handed them right back to me. You can draw your own conclusions, but knitting and making items for others can sometimes backfire.
My grandmother knit for all of us. She knit each of us afghans when we moved out and were on our own. I still have mine well over 30 years later. She knit us slippers--the funky ones I recreated in the book, My Grandmother's Knitting--but she'd only knit a pair every so often so we'd have to wait in line. My other grandma knit us mittens. I remember them drying on the radiator as a child when we lived in Minnesota.
The past few months have been difficult. We lost a loved one to cancer. Last weekend, we gathered for a funeral and afterwards, I was allowed to go through all the old family photos and scored two precious ones of my grandmother, now living in a home unaware at age 97 that she has just lost another daughter (she has Alzheimer's). She is sitting and knitting in the pics. I can't believe I found one, let alone two!
So this is what Girlfriend and I did for her lovely tutor: She drew a picture of her tutor's dog, Chloe. I transferred it to linen. She chose the colors and stitches and I embroidered it. Then, together we sewed a little pouch.
Her tutor loved it.
I am, we are--Girlfriend and I--so happy.
And I miss my grandma and aunt.
And it just occurred to me that it is my mother's birthday today. She would have been 73.
BTW: I love this tutorial on how to make little pouches. It's fast and easy. The only change I made is I sort of patchworked the outer linen to give it a little "interest."