Monday, November 1, 2010

A Letter (revisited)

Dear Non-Knitter;
Before you say anything about the handcrafted gift I just presented to you, please keep a few things in mind. Yes, I could have gone to a store and wrestled between getting you this or that a few days before now, but instead I started weeks/months/years ago by selecting a delightfully mild-mannered ewe which produced the softest wool. I washed, carded, and spun the fibres into the ideal yarn I required. I dyed it the precise shade that would compliment your skin/eyes/hair; then stitched countless swatches of various stitch patterns and piecing them together, arranging, adding and dropping a few -- finally coming up with the design I would use to handcraft your gift.
Now that I have all this figured out, I have to determine your measurements without your knowledge. Now this is a very clever trick which I will not go into detail in this letter, for it will unravel many a knitting secret. Having your measurements, I have to put those into an algebraic equation and using the stitches I chose to use, I have to do a bit of math -- that's right, I said math. I have to calculate out how many stitches to cast-on so that your gift isn't too small or too big for you.
With all this preparatory work, I can FINALLY cast-on and actually start making your gift. This could be anywhere from ten to several hundred stitches. Now here is where the fun begins. Sitting in my comfy chair/bus seat/plane/doctors office I knit. And knit. And knit, all the while thinking to myself how great this will look on you. For these aren't just stitches I'm making with these needles and yarn, I am softly saying a little prayer for you, whispering “I love you” into each stitch. All 502,839 of them...yes, I really did count them.
Once I have all the pieces made (and trust me I probably had to knit some pieces more than once so that they would have the same gauge as the rest of the pieces), I sewed them together in the right order and position -- this might take a few tries to get right since sewing isn't my greatest skill. But I push through knowing that this gift is for you.
Now I have everything together: the color is beautiful, the stitching is impeccable and the garment is washed, blocked, dried, boxed and ready to be gifted to you.
All of that time I spent just to give you a scarf/sweater/blanket/those socks. Each stitch made with love for you from me. So when ever you feel that you are alone or life gets hard, go find this gift of love and pull it around tight and know that someone loves you and that they spent the time to actually make this for you. Sharing a handicraft item is done out of love -- there is no monetary value that can cover the time that goes into it each piece. So if you are ever lucky enough to receive one of these precious items please treasure it and understand that it is a work of art in itself made specifically for you.
Now doesn't that make this gift a bit better than that Gift Certificate to Where Ever-Mart... so don’t go f*** it up by throwing it in the washer and dryer and ruining it!
With Love,
A Knitter

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