Sunday, October 27, 2013

A handmade gift comes from many hearts

This week I set aside my embroidery for knitting needles and knit this little sweater and bunny set for a friend and new mother who I haven't seen in many years. We went to graduate school and then worked together. This new baby is lucky because my friend and her husband are some of the calmest and kindest people I have ever met. As I was knitting though, I reflected that this gift comes not just from me, from a whole host of mutual friends.


Ten years ago we worked for the Massachusetts State Historical Commission with a group of really smart women in their 30s. One was a avid knitter and held knitting classes during lunch to teach the others. I already knew how to knit, but the enthusiasm among this group was very high and we all shared patterns and finished products with each other. One of these women brought in a finished baby sweater one day, along with the free pattern from Plymouth Yarn Company. The pattern has a hood, but she had modified it and produced a sweater with a darling collar. She shared her modifications with us and it has been a favorite of mine ever since. The chunky yarn works up in an evening.


The rabbit came from another friend in the knitting group who had seen a free pattern online that purported to make a bunny out of a square and two triangles. Knowing how much I loved bunnies, she challenged me to figured out how it was done. I did, and was delighted with the results. I've made MANY since then, for babies as well as for rabbit rescue organization fundraisers. It is just an adorable, fun to work pattern.


So this gift comes not just from me, but from all of us who worked together at that time. None of us are still with the state, and many of us have moved far away, but we are still drawn together by our collective love of historic preservation and the camaraderie of needlework.


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