Monday, August 08, 2005

The Trouble with Lace

The trouble with lace is that you knit and knit and knit; you hold up the knitting; you admire the knitting; you pat yourself on the back; you knit and knit and knit; you hold up the knitting again; you marvel at the fact that the knitting has not grown by one inch since the last time you held it up. You also marvel at the fact that the knitting looks like a crumpled hankie. You know, in your heart of hearts, that the knitting will be breath-takingly beautiful when it is blocked. You still, even now, even after all these years of knitting, and knitting lace, don't quite believe it.

Can't you tell that I am at quite a low ebb?

I have had to resort to "old knitted stuff" again. I thought you might like to see the Canadian Living Heirloom Shawl in her new home. Here she is, modelled by Margaret, who now takes care of said shawl:

Doesn't she look great? No slinging it over the shoulders and ending up looking like a granny (not that she is). No, it's more of an artfully arranged nonchalance. Skinny AND brown - if she weren't such a sweetheart I'd be ready to spit.

I've been thinking about gift-giving. I made the Heirloom for Margaret because she asked me to knit her a shawl and I picked the Heirloom because I wanted a challenge. I gave it to her, safe in the knowledge that she would treasure it and take care of it and love it. Sometimes, we give a gift and later discover it hasn't been treasured, or loved, or taken care of. So, what to do? Naturally, one feels a bit let down. I put my heart and soul into this and you can't even be bothered to keep it out of the dressing-up box? I could tear a strip off you; I could cringe inside and say nothing; I could just let it go. When we give a gift, should we just let it go? Answers on a postcard...

Finally, because you all need eye-candy, this is Sharon Miller's Garden Shawl, lounging on the hedge in my garden:

(It's not Sharon's - it's mine.)


Heather said...

You know, that is a subject I debate myself over plenty. I no longer make anything for a few family members who failed to see how much love and work I put into a handmade item. My sister has ruined everything I made for my neice and nephew. Please, they didn't have to be hand washed. Just not put in the dryer. Never again. It broke my heart. I'm so happy you have a friend that will love and appreciate (and take care of!) such a treasure.

Toni said...

Yes, I'm also become very selective about who receives the things I make. Looks like your friend appreciates the shawl and looks great in it. Both shawls are gorgeous!

Luscious Gracious said...

Ok. After leaving a little note the other day, I keep coming back to your blog, and I must beg of you.....stop the lace knitting. Stop it right now. Pick up that uberEnglish thing called gardening. Roses are nice. I am on my knees. No more. Or at least make it somehow impossible for me to look in your archives. You shouldn't be allowed to pick up your tiny needles, at least for awhile. Please. I need my sanity. Or I need you to become my Faery Godmother, and then I wouldn't be forced to produce the lace inspired by you any more - I could be instead a lucky recipient. But the seeds are sewn. Literally. My 0000-0000 set is calling, along with my little stash of cashmere, a nice pomegranate color. I am by no means a beginner, but your knitting is really something else entirely, and you have inspired me more than any blog knitter ever should. So, I say a sincere "Thank you". I guess. Please never stop knitting, and never stop posting the fruits of your labors. Forget the gardening. I've changed my mind.

Sande Francis said...

I think living with a dog teaches one to really *give* gifts with no expectations. My dog receives a dog cookie with the same enthusiasm as a new bed or toy or chew stick. All eventually meet the same fate - disappeared or destroyed. That's what dogs do.
When you knit something for someone, you have to decide if you are knitting the correct something for that someone. If it's a labor of love and takes a lot of time or investment, you better give it to someone you *know* will appreciate it. For the friend who you love dearly but just doesnt get the yarn thing - make her a hat with store bought acrylic! {G}