Sunday, 26 April 2015

A Special Gift

In knitting circles, there is semi-regular discussion of 'knitworthiness'. Someone who is not knitworthy will accept your handmade gift and then set it immediately aside, sneer at it, refuse to ever wear it or fail to follow care instructions, so that when the knitter later asks (yes, yes, much safer never to ask after a gift...) the recipient says 'oh, I washed it on hot and it shrank so I gave it away/cut it up/gave it to the dog...'

The general consensus is that knitworthy people are to be cherished and protected at all costs. They are worthy of the hours of work, the silks and cashmeres and handpainted yarns. My nanna is knitworthy - she got a shawl that I made for her in Wollmeise. The supervisor for my undergraduate dissertation is the most knitworthy non-knitter I've ever met; I made her a fichu and a pair of fingerless gloves and gave her a shawl during the time she was teaching and supervising me, and each time she admired the item in detail, from the pattern to the colour to the texture, and each time I saw her using the item around campus. That's how you get more handknits from a knitter! I would knit for her again like a shot. I don't know if she knows knitters or if she's just naturally gracious and knitworthy, but she is the very model for gift receiving. 

Of course, even close family have to prove their knitworthiness. I've known more than one knitter who will knit cheerfully for friends and acquaintances but refuses to knit so much as a cotton washcloth for their sister/aunt/mother who has demonstrated their unworthiness of such an honour.

I haven't seen a similar idea in quilting circles, or maybe I'm just not a reader of enough quilting message boards. But there is certainly one person in my life who is very worthy as a recipient of handmades, and that's my fiance, Mr Handmade. 

His quilt has been on the go for a while now, but he has never nagged about it. When I finally got myself into gear and finished it off, he was thrilled. He snuggled under it immediately I gave it to him; he put it on the bed so it would be close and warm and useful straight away; he laid it out and told me which blocks were his favourites ("All of them! Especially this one... and this one... and this one...") and he told me over and over how soft and lovely it is, how much he loves it, how talented he thinks I am for making it.
Oh, my lovely, knitworthy, quiltworthy love. I will make him all the quilts he asks for. He's proved he's worthy of them.

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