Sunday, November 30, 2008

My best enabler

Let me tell you about my mother-in-law. About as seriously perfect a mother-in-law as anyone can possibly hope to have: friendly, generous, supportive, and not the slightest bit interfering. All of that is of course fantastic, but there's one thing more that makes her almost magical in her awesomeness: the knitting support.

From her, I have received more compliments of and support for my knitting habit hobby than I can possibly remember. She's even looped a skein around her wrists/hands and helped me to wind it up.

And then, there have been the gifts, which not only give me oodles of glee and hours of knitting fun, but also have (I'm sure) been a source of delight to the owner of her LYS. Think I'm kidding? Over the years, she has given me:

To top it all off, she has been tremendously easy to knit for. It has always been laughably easy to find inspiration for knitted gifts for her. Moreover, her colouring and my family's are completely different, so when I knit for her, I get to pick colours I could never ordinarily use. As an added bonus, everything which has ever screamed "Knit me for your mother-in-law!" at me has been an absolute joy to work on - and is almost always a project which expands my skills. I would indeed be a much poorer knitter today without the experience of the projects I've made for her under my belt. And I have scads of beautiful, exciting projects planned for her in the future, not to mention a bunch of yarn I've bought (on sale!) to make some of them. Here's a gallery to show you the sort of thing I'm talking about:

Christmas 2004: Catherine Parr sweater

An Alice Starmore from the Tudor Roses book

Christmas 2005: Cape Cod sweater

Another Alice Starmore, this one using traditional fisherman's gansey construction, from the Fisherman's Sweaters book

Christmas 2006: Garden Shawl

Possibly the most complex lace concoction available from the fabulous Fiddlesticks Knitting

Christmas 2007: Elizabethan Jacket

A Jade Starmore blazer with steeking

This year: Lliclla

Just finished. It's gorgeously scrumptious and I love it to pieces. The knitting and finishing was all totally done, but it still had to be washed and blocked. I did that this week, wrapped it up, and sent it off to her.

You see, earlier this month, my dear MIL had such a bad cold that it turned into pneumonia, and she checked herself into the hospital. While undergoing treatment for that, they did a CT scan of her lungs to make sure there wasn't anything else going on (she'd been a smoker for several decades before quitting cold turkey several years ago once grandchildren were on the way). And they found cancer. Cancer which was doing very nasty and painful things to her system, and at an alarming speed.

On Thursday, DH took DD1 over for a visit. And I insisted he bring along my gift, while there was still time for it to be useful and appreciated. If she's cold - particularly if she needs to go outside in the winter weather in order to be shipped from hospital to hospital for tests or whatever - she should be wrapped in something warm and insulating: wool. Nor did I want to chance her not seeing the last gift I made for her. And if she's feeling scared, or hurt, or down, she should be surrounded by a personalized garment which has the happiness of a totally-thrilled-with-her-project-knitter-who-loves her worked into each and every stitch.

I have been working on other stuff, but I'm not feeling much like writing about it right now. Next post.

P.S. If you are a smoker? Please. Stop. NOW.


Georgiana said...

Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry... my thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

Keja said...

You have my empathy too. Losing parents is never easy at any age, but having to watch them suffer is worse. I've been there, I get it. Just do what you can, when you can. She'll appreciate it.

Carrie K said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your MIL! Hopefully her nice warm Christmas shawl will utterly cure her. And instantly rids her of pain. She'll be in my prayers.

LadyLungDoc said...

Wow - she sounds like an amazing person. I hope that she's able to have as much quality time as possible with the people who love her.

Anonymous said...

Wow, the work you have done for over the years is beautiful,exquisite.

I especially love the lliclla - a passion of mine.

What a magickal and beautiful present a hand made woolen blanket,so practical,yet so beautiful and SO full of love. Indeed she will be able to perceive your love in every precious stich. There is nothing more lovely than a gift hand made with love it will keep her warm and cosy, nurtured and loved and she goes through this tiresome part of life.

I think you are very talented, and very,very special. Im glad she has you.