The other day I was picking up after my kids went to bed (please don't tell them I do that or they will start expecting that kind of behavior) and noticed my daughter had left her crocheted blanket on the couch. The blanket was a baby gift from Barb, a lady who crochets and that my husband worked with years ago.
These blankets. My girls have had these blankets for 8 years. The edging sometimes comes undone from being dragged around the house. My daughters will occasionally come to me teary eyed asking me to fix an edging that has come unraveled so I do my best to secure it again and hope it will be the last time. The blankets are not as bright as they once were. The acrylic yarn has been chewed on in times of stress or boredom and the edges hang floppy and distressed. All signs of a well loved blanket.
As I picked up this blanket, I looked at how ragged it is and got teary eyed and smiled. This is what we all want from our crafts: to be loved. We knit so many things for so many people and our greatest hope is that they are cherished and used. Not all of our finished objects will be, in fact, most of them won't but I'm willing to knit a lifetime of projects for that ONE project that someone loves. One blanket that someday my grandchildren will remember snuggling under. One hat that someone swears is the best hat they have ever had. One pair of socks that fits like nothing they have ever purchased from a store. One sweater that fits like it was custom made (because it was).
As I take this blanket up to my daughter, I know she is probably looking for it in her bed. I come in the room and hand it to her and her face lights up with that glowing smile that something familiar and comforting can bring. "Ahh! Thank you mom!", she says as she snuggles the blanket like a long lost puppy returned home and falls back down to her pillow with a plop. It's the best we can hope for.
What we do matters.
I don't know that my girls understand how many loops of the hook it took to create their blankets, but they do understand that the blanket was made for them. That kind of soul warmth can't be explained, but it can be felt and passed on. That kind of action may seem small, but it adds up.
In a world where everything is stamped out for us on an assembly line, where we try and shape our bodies to match our clothes instead of the other way around, having something made for you, just you, is a luxury. To CREATE something for someone, with them in mind and for their use, it reinforces a sense of self in a person that can give them confidence to do greater things than they thought possible. The great people of this world walk through it knowing that they are loved by the people that really matter and you have to have that support to back up the bravery it takes to change the world. Our crafted gifts are a little piece of that love and support.
Am I saying that your hat will change the course of history? Is your scarf going to have a hand in raising someone from the depths to greater heights than even they imagined? Am I proclaiming that your shawl will help mold the next great leader of our time? Maybe I am.
I'll say it again. What we do matters. The world is changed by small things everyday. Why couldn't it be our craft?
Have you made something that is well loved or have something made for you? I'd love to hear about what it means to you!