Growing up I can remember my Mom and Dad doing needle work. Mom was an avid knitter and Dad crocheted. YES, you read that right , My Dad crocheted. He did beautiful work he was really good at it and was very picky about it. It had to be just perfect or he would rip it out back to the mistake and do it again til it was right. Mom was the same. Dads specialty was what we Yanks call Afghans, to the Aussie its rugs. I can remember him getting calls from a local yarn shop to do repairs on rugs. By the time Dad was finished you couldn’t even tell it had been damaged. Mom’s specialty was house slippers and sweaters. Took her a day to do one house slipper. I learned from both of them and to this day still crochet and knit.
What was so special about the handmade gifts from Mom and Dad was I knew they were made with love. They took the time to create something special just for me. I learned from them both to create things. I am also a self-taught quilter, I can make my own clothes and a self-taught cross stitcher.
The learning process was tough, all the times I cried when Mom or Dad made me rip out something that wasn’t right. I understand that now it was a learning process. I had to fix the mistake so it was right, looked how its suppose to be. Makes me wonder something……IF we would go back and rip out parts of our life and fix the mistakes would life be any better or have we really learned from them and moved on?
One year for Christmas, Mom and Dad gave my first husband and me a big box. The card read “Happy Anniversary” We got married on December 7th, 1985 (no longer married) Mom made the comment that she had been waiting for me to ask Dad for what was in the box. It was a beautiful afghan that Dad still needed to finish. We had some great wall space and asked him to turn it into a wall hanging for us which he did. Mom knitted rugs and house slippers for me. When My girls came along they each made something special for them. I had sure that when the girls got older and able to appreciate the work that had gone into them that I gave what mom and dad had made. It was their link to them. Something tangible that they could look at and would hold good memory’s. Pass on to their kids.
I have made the girls things from me so when I am away from them, they still have a little piece of me there. Guess I kind of do that when I make anything I give as a gift. Give a little piece of me. Each thing Mom and Dad made had that quality that only handmade gift carry. When I hear that friends are having babies I always make sure the new addition has something hand-made. Guess its my way of leaving my mark on the world of that person. I think we all hope that we do that, with those who are important to us. We hope in some small way that for however long we are in their life that we can leave a mark. My parents left their mark in my life and in their grand-daughters lives by the hand-made gifts they left for them. Phil always fuses at me for not taking the time to do something for me. Make something that stays at home. I have an ongoing rug that I am knitting in my favorite colors I can put it down and work on other things when I need to or keep working on it. Guess you could call it MY mark on MY life.
My parents generation gift to me was hand-made items and the knowledge of how to create my own handmade work. The love and the effort it took to create the piece and in taking the time to teach me how to do it. My generation gift to my girls is the handmade item I have made and the knowledge how to create their own pieces.
Heres the question — Whats your handmade generation gift your leaving behind?