Friday, February 13, 2009

An expected and unexpected gift.

Did you know that, on occasion, I spend time sewing historical costumes? And did you know that, for the past eight years, I’ve been attending the Minnesota Renaissance Festival in full Elizabethan regalia? And did you know that my aunt is a very talented knitter and occasional Renaissance Festivalgoer herself?

Do you want to know why I’m asking these questions? Well, this is why:

knitted bag with beads

Sometime last year my aunt Kathi told me she was knitting me an amulet bag to wear with my festival gowns. Before she started, I saw the pattern and the beads and the miniscule knitting needles and couldn’t believe she’d chosen to work on something so special just for me.

At my grandpa’s funeral, she gave it to me but not before she told me that she almost didn’t give it to me because it wasn’t perfect. She said she would make me another more perfect version soon because she was determined to master this pattern.

knitted bag with beads

I know, intimately, the crippling power of perfection and I can understand why she didn’t want to give it to me. On the other hand, if there are flaws (which I didn’t try to find), I certainly don’t care. I love this little bag more than she can imagine and flaws (if there really are any) would never change that.

She also gave me an even greater gift…a lesson learned by her example. Even though the bag wasn't perfect, she got over her fears and gave it to me anyway. But more importantly, she hasn't given up on improving her skills. It’s as if she said "this is good enough for now but not good enough for always". I really like that…it makes the imperfections of the moment seem more like stepping stones to future greatness.

knitted bag with beads

I’m so lucky to have such talented people in my life. They provide so much inspiration in times when all hope of inspiration seems lost.

Next week I want to talk about my very talented brother and show you some of the beautiful things he makes. I’m so immensely proud of him.

I also hope to have some things to show you all come Tuesday. Long weekends are always good for finishing projects…so many free days just waiting there, full of potential. I can’t wait!

3 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh, that bag is amazing. Such intricate details. I can't even imagine how long it must have taken to make.

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  2. souuu, all caught up on your entries. now i forgot what i wanted to comment first, of course.
    the scrap squares, beauuuutiful!
    and that quilt for laura, genius. i think just using large fabric squares looks really good, as you said, gives the fabric an opportunity to shine. not boring at all.
    i'm about to free motion quilt for the second time tonight. ha! talk about how long until there's nothing to complain about? at least i'm not breaking needles along the way anymore.

    the second to last entry wasn't at all boring! i don't think you're a boring person. my teacher once said, if you can think you're never bored. i adopted that, but can understand well your walking past the books, the secret project [i wanna know! :)], the squares, and not being drawn to any one of them. just like chefs sometimes have to take trips of culinary inspiration, i bet crafters need time off for, hmm... repurification of the creative spirit.
    does that sound like a valid excuse? ;)

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  3. I love that little purse - so beautiful! (And you're not looking to bad yourself in that regalia - but my goodness - it looks soooooo uncomfortable through the chest!)

    I'm definitely a "good enough for now" person - I know that I'm only going to get better with time and practice. My Saucy Divo quilt that you've seen for instance, the friend I made it for really wanted me to make him somethng and he wanted to pay for it. Even as I made it, I was learning, and I told him when I gave it to him, that later, when I'd gotten better at quilt making, I would swap it out.

    I think we're both happy with that arrangment!

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