As I mentioned before, it seems like everyone I know is having a baby. A couple years ago, everybody was getting married. These waves of life events has kept my crafting projects list buzzing. I, not infrequently, wonder why I do it. It takes more money and more time to make something than it would to go to the store. And it is an emotional gamble too. It is impossible to detach from what I give, especially if you end up spending hours and hours putting it together. If the recipient doesn’t like it, there is no gift receipt.
Ever since my very dear friend from high school got married back in 2008, and I was looking for a gift to give her. I’ve never been really good at telling my people how important they are to me, but I wanted that opportunity to show her. So, despite the obvious utility of buying her something she had actually asked for and just writing up a nice card, I decided to knit them a blanket. Of course, because of all my hemming and hawing about what to do, I didn’t actually start knitting the blanket until about a month before the wedding. Between the full time job and, you know, feeding and bathing myself, I did not actually finish the blanket in time for the wedding. I believe, if memory serves me, that I wrapped it up and gifted it, only to take it back and finish it a few months later (this is an unfortunate trend in my craft-gift giving).
So was born a tradition of sorts. I can’t just buy a gift for someone that I feel strongly about, specifically when it comes to a big life change (I don’t have the same compunction about Christmas and birthday gifts). I just don’t feel like it says enough. I want to say that ‘I love you’ or ‘I miss you’ or ‘Your friendship means so much to me,’ but I’m no good at that. I am good at knitting. I’m not sure that it really does anything for the receiver, but as the giver I get to spend hours and hours thinking about the person that I’m giving the gift to. I get to settle on just how I feel about them and our relationship and really revel in it for awhile. I can’t say it is the most practical thing. And, like I said before, I have no idea if the receiver cares or understands the way that I feel. There is an old curse in the knitting world about knitting a sweater for your significant other (I’m actually more than a little shocked by the full Wikipedia write up on that one), that embodies the possible dissonance between giver and receiver. But, nonetheless, I have to. I hope that those I give to understand what I am trying to say and feel as loved as I hope they do.