Thursday, November 30, 2006

cold hands, warm heart

This post was all nice and ready to go yesterday, but Blogger swallowed it whole while I was uploading the photos. And yes, I was a dumb-dumb-doodyhead, and wasn't typing/editing somewhere outside of the I lost the whole damn post. I've already beat myself up, so no need to do that.
So here's the post, in it's new form, and it's written in the style of my pretending that today is still Wednesday, not Thursday.
Just in case you are keeping track of what I do every day or some shit.

It is cold here. Very cold. Not Kathy or Lene's sort of cold. But definitely colder than we are used to here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Last night several communities had temps below freezing, and it is expected to be colder tonight.

Unrelated to the cold, this morning I woke up 2 hours before the alarm went off. I spent the first hour or so trying to get back to sleep, but my mind was prattling on and reflecting back on this past November-full of daily blog posts, reminiscing in particular about the things that I had wanted to blog about, but sadly never did. I wondered if maybe I could cover any of those topics in the two days remaining...then came to the conclusion that I would probably drag my ass out of bed and still not blog about any of those unwritten things, but instead write about how cold it was.
Day 29 of 30.
Take the easy route, I say.

After an hour mulling all of that over, I finally gave up trying to fall back asleep, turned on the morning news and listened to the reports about the cold weather and cold people, while I propped myself up to knit a few rows of lace. I was so friggin' cold with my top half outside of the blanket, that I started layering on the handknits. At some point I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Over my purple plaid pajamas and red t-shirt, I had put on my striped Noro poncho-esque thing, my beloved sheepy armwarmers, a blue hat with kitty ears, and even though my foot was under the blanket still, I knew that it donned a pink and orange sock. I was a prime example of a "fasion don't". I looked like a bag lady. A very warm bag lady, thankful for all of her handknit woolies, true.

And that's exactly when it hit me that one of the unwritten posts was completely linked to the cold weather, and then I got a wild hair up my arse to do something about it.

The UnWritten Entry, Now Written

A few weeks back, I was reading Lene's blog, and near the end of this post about her knitting, she wrote:

"...I wonder, that when I get old, will I look back into my days and wonder why did I spend all my life with these tiny loops."

I spent days contemplating this thought, and I'm not even going to bother getting into my brain-farts here, because I'm already sick of hearing myself think, and I'm sure all of you knitters (or any others of you out there with your own similar interests) have probably at some time or another asked yourself this very same question.

But somewhere during those few days of contemplating, a timely thing happened that deepened my thought process.
I made a trip to the thrift store, and I ran across these:

A whole bunch of hand-knit and crocheted blankets.

I whole bunch of time, money, creativity, love, and little loops.
Sitting there.
Marked from $2.99 to $4.99 or so.
(btw, the hand quilting was marked $39.99-$69.99...interesting).
I was so struck by them hanging there, that I even photographed them all that day so I could write a post about how seeing them made me feel. Which of course, I never did.

I spent another few days thinking about those blankets. And I'm not going to go into any of those brain-farts, either. Again, anyone who has a hobby can probably do their own thinking and my hands are too cold to type it all out for you now anyhow, so your are on your own to ponder, ok? Sorry. LOL

That's when it hit me.

I need to rescue the blankets and deliver them to the rescue shelter. I need to give the lonely abandoned blankets full of love to the lonely abandoned people who need love.

So after I got MyFK off to school, I went to the ATM machine, pulled out twenty bucks, and went to the thrift store. I'd like to have spent more, but me thinks ye might be needin' to be savin' up for thee gas bill, eyee?

I think it had been about 4 weeks or so since I'd first seen them, and almost all of the same blankets were still there. Upon closer inspection, some of them were just lap blankets and too small to wrap around a person, but most of them were just the right size to cover a single bed or a cot, or to wrap around a person without it dragging eveyrwhere (I was a bit irked that someone was buying the bright yellow one just as I rounded the corner, because that was my favorite...I almost tried to talk her out of it...I hope she takes it home and loves it to death).

I decided that I would do the delivery of the blankets to the rescue mission bit after picking up MyFK from school. I figured I may as well get some mileage out of this and get some parenting done at the same time...and it was going to be a double whammy because he was having a friend over after school for a playdate, so they were both going to get the living lecture.

On the drive down to the shelter, I gave them both the whole schpeel. The handknits, the stuff that goes into making something, the cold, the homeless, being grateful and giving, yadda yadda...and that's when MyFK asks:
"Where we are bringing the blankets for donation?"

And I say: "To the Bay Area Rescue Mission."

And his friend says: "When my mom and dad went through their divorcement, my mom had to stay there for awhile."

And the lesson of the day suddenly became a whole lot bigger.
For all of us.


Carol said...

Not too long after I started working at my LYS, I walked in to find some very bizarre-looking, and LARGE!, afghan-y-bedspready-y thingy laid out on the floor. Each block was big, at least 14 by 14, and completely different in color, style and fiber. I was told that a knitter has passed away and her daughter took all of her sweaters, made blocks with them and asked the shop to finish it. I like to picture her snuggling under the big afghan that she knows her mom made, maybe even catching of whiff of the way her mom always smelled.

M-H said...

You done a good thing Bonnie. Well done.

Penny L. Richards said...

I do think about those thriftstore blankets sometimes... I crochet granny squares, and there are always a few grannysquare blankets (including some in your photos). But...but. I decided that I do it for the process, for the sensory experience of touching lovely fibers and looking at lovely colors and combinations. What happens to them after I put them out there in the world, as gifts or donations, doesn't diminish what I got from the making.

I like your approach, though--and I may have to follow your example next time I have a chance. Which is too often, because I'm always lurking in thriftshops when I should be doing something more productive...

strangelittlemama said...

You are fricking awesome.

~Donna~ said...

You sure do have a warm heart and now so do a few more people...way to go!

Anonymous said...

Lovely, Bonnie. Great move.

After my mother killed herself, I got rid of a lot of the stuff she'd made me because it hurt me too much to look at it. I hope it ended up as well as these things.

You never do know why things or people end up abandoned.

LLA said...

what a simply lovely, and loving, thing to do....

Lorena said...


That's just... beautiful.

jodi said...

Thank you.

I've been thinking about collecting the unfinished projects of people who have died, and finishing them. I started thinking about it after visiting an antique shop with unfinished quilts and afghans from estate sales. But, how to make art out of something while not doing dishonour to the person who abandoned it? Perhaps your idea is the answer.

Aren't you tempted, now, to knit something nice for yourFK's friend's mom?

Anonymous said...

This is a great idea! Next time I'm in the thrift store, I'm going to be picking up a few of these. Thanks for the inspiration!

Hannah said...

Good for you! I always feel that way in thrift stores--buying a lot of handmade things just because they need to be rescued. My partner David has been itching to take me in with a camera and put up a blog post--but I think your solution is better!

(And hey, Penny! Two of my worlds collide here....)

Anonymous said...

I don't even know how I found your blog but I keep coming back to see what you have to say. Your words are powerful and inspirational.

Gray said...

You are the best. That was a nice blog entry.

Bezzie said...

What a great idea!!! There's so many of those orphan afghans that obviously had so much work put into them. Only a knitter could appreciate it and truly a person who needs a blanket could appreciate having one.

Anonymous said...

Found you from Yarnival, and so glad I did.

This is an amazing story and a brilliant idea. And, just as you've said, you never know how things end up where they do -- your kid's friend's mom, those afghans, any of it. I'm so inspired by this act of yours.

Wishing you warmth and happiness this holiday season. Thanks for sharing your genius idea!