About a zillion years ago I got married and the people in my life were forced to give me presents. I got wine, more wine, lots of towels, and other stuff I can’t really remember. I also go this blanket from my grandmother.
Its a king-sized masterpiece of ripple crochet in Red Heart yarn.
I don’t have any of my other wedding presents anymore (I don’t have the husband that they came with either) but I have held on to this. I’ll hold on to this until I’m dead. I’m sure you are all out there nodding vigorously.
My grandmother is a tiny woman, currently in her nineties. She still works, by the way, and no one can make her quit. She is unstoppable. Last winter she went 14 days in a huge ice and snow storm without power while living alone. She took care of herself, she took care of her home (not a single pipe froze), and got herself to the local hospital everyday to visit with my terminally ill cousin. She is tough stuff. I’m telling you, cranking out a a king-size crochet blanket is nothing to her.
But its something to me.
Grandmother does not like “good” yarn. I’ve sent her some. I sent her handspun that I made just for her. Nope. She likes Red Heart. And not the newer lines of yarn they put out. She wants the real stuff. Its all she works with.
There must be many, many gracefully aging master crocheters out there who feel the same way about that Red Heart. I’m not the only one with a treasured family heirloom made with yarn that costs (in today’s prices) about 18 cents an ounce. I know that because people have brought me their old Red Heart blankets and paid me to repair them. More than once I’ve been handed a Red Heart wonder in a riot of colors that was made decades ago by someone’s mom/grandmom/aunt/godmother. The current owner is desperate because a dog chewed on the blanket, or a foolishly helpful person tried to wash it, or a baby took a pair of scissors to it or something. The owner begs me to fix it and I agree but I tell them that I’ll have to charge them. Mending is not an easy thing to do. They always answer:
“That’s okay. Whatever its costs is fine. Just, please, fix it!”
And so they pay more than the cost of the materials for the whole thing just to see it fixed up. Ridiculous right? But we get it. You and me, we totally get it. The cost of the yarn that goes into a project is not what matters. Its the love. (There is more vigorous nodding happening isn’t there?)
Have you ever made an heirloom worthy piece for someone? And if so, do you think that in 30 years they’ll be paying a smart-ass like me to mend it for them so it can get passed on to the next generation?
PS. I’m fine. I’ve had phone calls and some emails and lots of text messages asking if I was caught up in the floods that raged all over Texas yesterday so I figured I’d just throw it out here on the blog. I’m okay. Lots of people have lost their homes and their cars. A few lost their lives. The worst of it hit south of me. I’m one of the lucky ones.