Sunday, November 16, 2008

Show & Tell With Mel - Nov 16th: The Five Generation Afghan


The Afghan was begun no one recalls exactly when, it started off as many skeins of variegated yarn, dozens of granny squares and good intentions. My Great-Grandmother Meme started it. My mother said Meme started it when mom was pregnant with one of my brothers - she can't recall which one - given the youngest is now 22 and she is pretty certain it was before him, that is at least a couple decades plus. My Great-Grandmother for some reason was unable to finish it and sent it to my mom. My mom gave an attempt - but didn't get very far. She wasn't much with granny squares. Years ago I inherited it - a bag of yarn and squares, good intentions and unfinished business. Relegated to a box and forgotten about through several moves, and then, one day I opened that box not really remembering what was in it and found the bag of squares and skeins. I had never learned to crochet a granny square. Feeling a new found interest in picking up a crochet hook again, I asked a good friend to teach me how to make a granny square. She was a left handed crocheter, but willing. I learned sitting opposite her - mirror image. I finished the afghan, a couple decades later and with hands a few generations from those that began it. I crocheted enough squares to finish a throw sized afghan. Then I sewed them all together, crocheted around the edges to finish it and used it to catch my newborn daughter in - she of the red curly hair and fearless blue eyes.

The years go by and things get forgotten sometimes even when you don't mean to. I cleaned out a closet and found the afghan folded neatly into yet another box - having been stored for another move, and never unpacked. This time however, I pulled it out of the box finished and whole. I called my curly haired daughter to see and told her this was her afghan. She asked me if I made it and I told her that I did and her grandma did and her great-great grandma did - that they started it and I finished it. Her blue eyes widened and she exclaimed "They all did?! Oh I love it!" Then she and the afghan disappeared to her room and been inseparable since.

Perhaps I am putting too much thinking into it - but I honestly believe this afghan was meant to be hers. Begun by a grandmother for a great-grandchild to be that she just couldn't seem to finish. Attempted by a mother too busy and lacking in skill to finish for her child. Handed off to another child for another grandchild - the fifth generation. A child who never got to meet her Great-Great-Grandmother in this life, but can wrap herself up safe and cozy in the hopeful creation of loving hands - born of love, given with love, finished with love.





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17 comments:

JamieD said...

What a beautiful story! I have a quilt made for me by my great grandmother and I love it. I know your daughter will treasure her afghan as will her daughters after her.

Cassandra said...

Amazing! Hopefully the afghan will last to the 6th generation and even beyond. :)

Kristin said...

What a wonderful story. That is truly something to treasure.

Another Dreamer said...

Wow, that is a treasure. What a wonderful story, and a beautiful afghan.

Cara said...

Generational love is such a gift..but handing down generational items is even better.

What a story and what an afgan!

momofonefornow said...

That is such an amazing story. I think those handmade creations hold so much value.

Tara said...

What an awesome story! I am so glad you decided to finish it! Thank you for sharing!

Meg said...

Such a beautiful story!

Mrs. Spit said...

how wonderful!

WiseGuy said...

Oh, that is so sweet! And what a pretty lasting souvenir of the people in whose hands it has rested. Really Awesome!

loribeth said...

You know I am a sucker for stories like these. : ) I especially love that your daughter appreciates it so much!

And -- by the way -- happy birthday! : )

Tara said...

Happy Birthday!

MrsSpock said...

A beautiful story to go with a beautiful afghan!

CLC said...

What an awesome story, and a beautiful afghan. I love it!

Sam said...

that is such a beautiful and loving story! And the photo of your daughter all wrapped up in it is great - she looks proud and fearless!

Lynette said...

What a beautiful thing to treasure! Your story gives me hope as I have a bag of crocheted squares i began over 10 years ago now!! Maybe i'm not meant to finish it but just pass it on!
Happy Birthday!

Kristin said...

I love this story as much this time as I did the first time I read it.