one way to say I love you
I have been on a small making binge lately. Partly because I’m experimenting and trying to build that small line of goods for sale (and does that ever take a long time). But mostly because I love my people. When I gave Kit this pink sweater, she threw her arms around my legs and sang “making is one way to say I love you,” which she had heard on Daniel Tiger a few days before. I laughed and hugged her back. I started thinking about that – about the ways that we show we love people.
When my kids are small, I show them I love them in many ways, but one of the most important is making their clothes, blankets, and toys. I like to physically wrap them up in my love. As they get older, the love shifts – they move away from the mama made clothes (until they move back again) and I give them my time in other ways. I take them places. I buy them supplies to do their own making. I make them healthy and delicious food (most of the time). I sit and drink tea and listen. I help them follow their dreams, whatever they may be. I let them grow into their own independent beings and try not to be unhappy about it.
Right now I’m really enjoying making things for Kit. They’re small and they’re easy to fit. They take little in the way of materials. And she is so grateful and proud when she wears what I make. It warms my heart.
There has been a lot of pain and tragedy going on near our family lately; not within our family, but with the loved ones of some of our loved ones. While we have held them, supported them, and shared their grief, I have done a lot of thinking about how we show others that we love them. Sometimes we make food, quilts or shawls – tangible expressions of our love. Other times we just sit and listen and have a cup of tea. And still other times, the best way to show love is to provide people with their own space until they’re ready to come back again.
I find that when something happens to someone near us, my impulse is to do something – to make something. And if it isn’t the right time to make something for them, I still have to make something, maybe just for one of the kids. I find the process of making – the knitting of yarn, the measuring and cutting of fabric, the hum of the sewing machine – helps quiet my thoughts and focus my energy on things I can control. When the world doesn’t make sense, I find solace in the making of something that will make life a little better. And when I give it to its intended recipient, then I am giving them everything that I felt for them while I made it. Making is a tangible expression of my love.
I may not always know the right thing to say, and I may screw things up from time to time (or often) but I know that when Kit pulls on that sweater, or our friend sleeps under her quilt, that they have wrapped my love around them. And they know it too. It’s my way of saying “I love you.”
sweater details: both the pattern and yarn are from Quince & Co. The pattern is Wee Ambrosia (with a different smocking pattern because apparently I can’t be bothered to read directions) and the yarn is Osprey in Dogwood. The buttons are woven leather from the Pendleton Mill Store. They were $.05 each. I bought 40 of them so expect to see more. It was a quick, fun knit and I highly recommend it. I knit the largest size and made it longer to fit her better. I also slightly felted the sweater in the dryer when it was damp to secure the float stitches in the smocking to the background and avoid snagging. This had the side benefit of tightening up the whole sweater so it’s more of a jacket. Kit loves it.