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Lynne604 Posted - 10/05/2012 : 09:06:27 AM
Was not the project itself but the time I put in, only to have the piece ruined.

I was still a fairly new knitter and decided to make a shawl for my elderly great-aunt. Unfortunately, I didn't think to check the yarn label for washing instructions. The shawl was finished before I discovered it had to be hand-washed in cold water and dried flat.

What I should have done was make her another shawl; one that could be machine-washed and dried. Instead, I wrote out the washing instructions on a card and wrapped the shawl around it. Since my aunt had Alzheimer's, I spoke to her caregiver and emphasized that the shawl must be hand-washed.

A year later, my aunt died. Her daughter asked if I wanted the shawl back. She handed me a shrunken length of what looked like thick weaving, with the colors running together. I realized instantly that someone had washed it in hot water and put it in the dryer -- it had felted very nicely!

It wasn't possible to learn who did it, as toward the end my aunt had more than one caregiver. Knowing wouldn't have made a difference anyway. What hurt me was the indifference displayed by my cousin over the ruined piece. If it were me, I would have apologized profusely. My cousin doesn't knit and would not have thought of the time I put in making the shawl. And, of course, I should have had the patience to make a washable shawl for my aunt.
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robinstephanie Posted - 10/07/2012 : 11:49:22 AM
A friend of his asked my boyfriend if I could spin dog fur (yes, dog fur) into yarn so his wife could knit with it. I said yes, and spent my Saturday carding and spinning it into sample skeins: border collie with purple cormo, border collie with red mohair, border collie with bronze churro, pure white border collie, &etc. When I was done I had this pile of beautiful little sample skeins. They were delicately colored and had an incredible halo.
I was was really excited to show some friends at work who had asked to see it, so I asked Matt not to take them to his friend yet. Well, he forgot and gave them to his friend when I was out.
I got them back a week later. The yarn was chewed to bits by the dog, and some skeins were missing. There was nothing left that I could use as an example of my work to proudly show my friends, and that's what I told my boyfriend when I gave him back the yarn and asked him to give it back to his friend. I said, "I can't show this to anybody! Your friend can have it." (I think I threw the yarn on the bed and stalked out of the room. I was just so hurt and angry.) My boyfriend felt terrible; he could tell how upset I was. He only forgot I wanted to show it to my friends because he was excited to show it to his own, which shows a lot of love for me, actually. I told him that, later. It's his friend I'm fried at.
I know accidents happen, but Matt's friend knew I wanted it back the day Matt gave it to him, and still didn't didn't care for it. So. I will not be spinning any more border collie.
I can't imagine how I would feel if it had been my knitting for a loved one, a garment which takes so much more time and effort and love than my half day spinning did. Maybe it's too much to wish for that it never happens to me.
I'm so sorry you had to go through that, Lynne. And I wholeheartedly agree with EmEm--the shawl may be ruined, but you still made it with love, a great thing to have been able to do for someone, and nothing can ever change that.


Different is good. ~Matthew Hoover
Grand-moogi Posted - 10/07/2012 : 06:26:50 AM
Exactly, I endorse what EmEm has said. It is amazing how little appreciation people have for something they do not do themselves. But it applies to all sorts of things. I was once asked by a lady who had a masters degree in education "Do you find that there is not as much call for Chartered Accountants (my profession) now that electronic calculators are so readily available?" I was dumstruck. I was too insulted to be angry. I was dead silent so she said "Oh was that a silly question?" and I said "Yes it is equivalent to asking a doctor if he finds there is not so much need of his services now that you can buy those pretty band aids with the stars on them"
No response.
This woman was just ignorant and I guess your cousin is ignorant too. However they are innocently ignorant. They do not mean to offend. But their ignorance does not devalue our work.

I knit a hug into every stitch
EmEm Posted - 10/05/2012 : 7:28:42 PM
I'm sorry to hear your great-aunt's shawl was ruined. It's difficult to feel that people aren't more appreciative of the time and effort put into the beautiful things knitter's make. Sometimes they don't realize the cost, effort, and time. I'm sure your aunt loved it and it was a beautiful way to express how much you loved her. And whatever happens to the physical gift you gave her, no one can can take that away.

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