I like to embroider or crochet little items, like dish towels or aprons. I do it to have something to do with my hands while traveling or while sitting in front of the television watching a program that is less than engaging. Once in a while, I find myself rummaging through my basket of handmade items to give as a gift to someone. For example, a friend moved into a new house – viola! She got a dish towel with strawberries embroidered on it. Another friend was organizing a fundraiser for a non-profit organization – viola! There went the matching mother/daughter aprons.
Sometimes I make things for someone on purpose, baby blankets, for example. I thank God that babies take nine months to percolate! But that is something else, entirely.
I am reflecting this morning on the items I make that I don’t know who they are for. I am recalling the women who came before me, who had their own baskets of things to give away. My maternal grandmother had a stash of aprons and crocheted rugs that were gifts awaiting recipients to happen along. My Aunt Alice crocheted baby blankets and, later, little Christmas tree ornaments that doubled as cat toys if she put some catnip into them. Aunt Rose tatted lace around the edges of handkerchiefs. I don’t know if my Aunt Jo had a particular craft but she married a man named Ralph who made doll houses and little churches that many of us nieces and nephews still have. Like the handiwork of my aunts, I suspect Uncle Ralph’s “gifts” were created before the receiver was known to him.