Saturday, 9 February 2013

The joy of wear and tear

Two friends recently returned items that I'd made back to me. Was I offended? Certainly not, since the handing back was accompanied by the words "It's got a hole, do you think it can be fixed?". The baby blanket and socks had been well worn, washed and re-washed many times and had generally got about a bit. I was pleased that they'd been used enough that they were in need of repairs! 

I spend time carefully planning gifts and asking myself what does this person like to wear, what colours do they like, what style do they enjoy?  Then there's the time spent making the gift and finally the gift giving. Most people enjoy getting something carefully hand made that they can use and enjoy, but there was one embarrassing occasion when it went something like this (this will be familiar to a lot of crafters):

Me, handing over the gift:  Happy birthday!

Giftee, opening it:  Oh.

[Long, awkward pause]

Giftee: Right. A scarf.

Me: Er, yes.

[Further awkward pause]

Giftee: Yeah, thanks.

Giftee puts the scarf swiftly aside and I wonder how I've managed to cause such offense with a hand knit scarf in luxury fiber, in their favorite colour that matches their coat. Giftee is, by this time, in raptures over the Boots bubble bath set they were given by someone else. Two months later the scarf is hanging on the back of the giftee's daughter's door, untouched.

So that's why I'm so pleased when something I've made get's worn through, stretched, holey, frayed, out grown or even lost in action.  It shows they're out in the world serving a purpose, warming the people I love and not being saved 'for best'.

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