The loveliest part about giving handmade is that you are also creating family memories and stories. Especially when making items which will be unpacked on special family occasions.
In my late teens I knitted a layette for my sister’s friend, who was having a baby. Many years later I was sent a photo of her grandchild wearing the same layette. The thought that someone had valued my work so much that they had passed it on to a grandchild made me cry. The story that goes with that handmade layette is also passed on, a beautiful story of friendship and love.
I hear many beautiful stories in my little shop. There are stories about great-grandparents, long passed who made the christening gowns and blankets. And tales about grandfathers who knitted their own socks in the war. Also I hear about those who were taught to weave after the trauma of war as a way of healing.
I have people come in who are making blankets for grandchildren and great-grandchildren they may not be privileged to meet in this lifetime. The maker wanting to pass a memory of who they were to a child still to be.
Many family histories are recounted when a handmade item is on display. Memories of the maker shared and treasured. The oral histories of families that may never be written down.
The gift of making is not only in the receiving but in the giving. The giving of yourself, the giving of memories of who you were.
At Knit Night last night Nigelle-ann and I sat down and made some memories. The memory of us making together. The memories our children will share of our making each time they unpack the Christmas decorations. We made Grandma’s Vintage Christmas Tree Pattern. Together. Sharing how we like to make granny squares, laughing and chatting with the others around the table. Talking about our families and the way we enjoy to spend the Christmas season.
I have made a couple of these little decorations now. Ready to pop into the shop window. They are very simple. Granny squares of graduating sizes folded and sewn together.