The day I found out I was going to have to have a mastectomy, I came straight home and started googling crochet patterns for prosthetic breasts. When I told our dear and beautiful friend Ruth this story, she laughed and said: "I love the way you think Annie - craft really is the answer to everything". This phrase has now become something of an ongoing in-joke around these parts, mostly because it's just kind of partly true! Craft (if you're craftily inclined), in times of crisis, can be soothing, mind-centring, distracting, pro-actively-taking-control-of-an-otherwise-crap-situation, beautiful, calming, fun, satisfying and (maybe my favourite) productive. Is that not COOL???
In the midst of all the medicalised insane-ness going on in our own family's lives at the moment, Ruth's beautiful family has also been wading through some pretty crazy intense medicalised crap of their own, involving her 7 year old daughter Edie. Now let's just say right here that Edie is a trooper. She's a friggin cool, smart, sassy kid, and we miss her. Because of the fact that she is cool, smart and sassy (and has pretty much the BEST parents in the world EVER) I know that she's going to learn from and grow with her particular situation, and come out tougher and cooler. She just will. Coz she's awesome.
But we wanted to send her a love package in the mail to cheer her up, distract her, and let her know we're thinking of her and we love her.
In case you didn't realise, love packages are THE BEST and I strongly encourage you to send one to someone you love TOMORROW. We usually include: something handmade in the craft category, something handmade in the food category, some reading material, some music, and whatever else we find lying around at time of parcel assembly that we believe will tickle the recipient. Package carefully and well, and decorate the box nicely, then send it on its way.
Edie's a reader, like our Olive, so her love package is full of books she (hopefully) hasn't read yet, recommended by Olive. And I also made her a pair of reading gloves.
Reading gloves are my crocheted take on driving gloves. For some reason, in my mind, driving gloves are very sophisticated, glamorous things, fingerless, made from soft stuff like 'kid leather', and held together with little buckles and neat buttons. If you're very fancy, your driving gloves are monogrammed or personalised in some other nifty way. I'm vaguely attracted to them for the same reason I love sailing ships: I'm a highly imaginative person who has read way too many novels, resulting in romantic attachments to ideas, concepts and objects I actually know nothing about.
Given that Edie is a reader, not a driver, I wanted to make her some reading gloves, which she could wear while sitting up in bed devouring novels, to keep her hands warm while also allowing her to turn the page with ease. And I wanted them to have all the (possibly made-up) things I love about (my idea of) driving gloves.
The answer? Crocheted fingerless mitts, made appropriately in Edie's favourite colours, adorned with neat little buttons and personalised with a Scrabble 'E'.
I didn't have a pattern for the gloves, so made it up, embellishing with scalloped edges. While everything started relatively well (I remembered to count the stitches in my initial chain so that the gloves would be the same size) I forgot to write down several other things I did on the first glove, so the second glove is a little bit different. But I was still pretty happy with how they came out. They're basically just tubes, with little thumb holes and scalloped edges. If you're a beginner crocheter, I reckon they'd be an excellent first (or second) project - I'm sure you could find a pattern for some online, though I'm more into improvisation myself...
So Edie, lovely girl, here's to you and your amazing awesomeness. While the reality of being thrust into scary and potentially overwhelming medical situations is not so great, you will be OK. You are so so loved. I hope you like your gloves. May your warm-handed novel-reading lead to a rich and fulfilling life full of highly-romanticised and possibly not very accurate ideas about things. Always better than the real thing.
|As modeled by Miss Olive|