Socks & Mufflers
The-Vyper was my oldest daughter Hope's intended and (was) the webmaster of this site. These socks were knit for him partly for Christmas but they were an afterthought. A thought I'd had after I'd got him his "A" present.
It was two weeks before Christmas and I was searching for something I could do for him to say "thank you" for designing the layout, maintaining the site and for putting up with me.
"I can't thank you enough!" is what I'd been mostly saying and doing for him up to that point.
Imagine doing a "looks good" favour for your girlfriend and getting big points with her Mom and then it turns into a true mother-in-law joke oozing to semi-nightmare proportions. I made him a thank you card too but that was between driving him crazy asking for revisions and fretting about my typos and wondering when this was going to get done and asking him about whether I could do that and bombarding him with e-mails suggesting that maybe both this and that could perhaps be done.
"Mom!" my daughter tried patiently explaining to me, "We work too! We have lives!"
"Oh I'm so sorry Baby but it's just that (fill in the blank)."
Taught as a child how to knit, I'd taken it up big time to try and hammer into me patience. Knit one, purl two. Knit one, purl two. Knit one, purl two. I thought the discipline would be good. I was doing computer records coding and in semi-despair. A 741200978 was a disabled member prior to age 55 who had a wife and dependent children and was due to have a reduction in their pension when they turned age 65. A 704705908 was retired, single and had a guaranteed pension with the guarantee ending in 5 years. That kinda stuff.
The-Vyper was finding out first hand that even though I'd been working on patience for well over 40 years and had mastered it in several ways, I would never truly be able to stop working on it.
Aware of my shortcoming, I try valiantly to compensate.
"I want to do something special for The-Vyper. What can I knit for him? Would he like a sweater?" I asked Hope.
She carefully steered me towards the idea of making socks.
I'd finished a sweater for Fred that spring and it had turned out to be about a foot too wide and almost down to his knees. Fred was, in his prime, six foot three. I believe he'd shrunk some since (he doesn't like to talk about it) but I don't think he appreciably shrank while I was knitting the sweater.
My knitting like my writing and my life and my children and the boat and my friends and my neighbours and where I work and Ripley the Wonder Dog and World Peace and (fill in the blank) just all gets away from me from time to time. Not like computer records coding where everything fits. Not like engineering a bridge or a building or a spaceship where redundancies are built in. There's only one of me and way too many other variables.
Fred graciously wore the sweater (he's a man of great courage) but I could feel him cringing if he had to go outside the boat and his "Honest Sweetheart I just love it!" didn't ring true somehow.
Eventually applying mercy. I took him off the hook by giving the sweater away while he was visiting his friend Heindritch in Holland. Fred professed to be hurt when he got back but I caught the minuscule teeny tiny hop/skip and there was that lurking relief thing twitching around at the corner of his mouth.
"The last pair of socks The-Vyper's Mom knit for him are almost worn out", Hope advised me. "He loves those socks. Knit him a pair of socks Mom. That's what he'd like!"
Only two weeks for go, I set to work and knit up a storm. Needles flying, I surprised myself by finishing in only a week! I had time to knit a pair of socks for Faith's then boyfriend too!
The-Vyper dutifully thanked me on Christmas Day but Hope told me later that he wouldn't wear them.
"He says they don't fit right and fall off his feet when he's walking Mom! His Mom's going to knit him another pair. They're not going to waste. I wear them. I don't mind shuffling."
"Tell him they're Art Socks!"
I was glad the socks weren't The-Vyper's "A" present. I ended up learning how to do the coding on the website myself and giving him cash for his help on the site and then he got a new e-address that he never gave me access to. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I'm still working on "it".
The Vyper Scarf
By the time The-Vyper received this scarf (muffler) and saw this story (when he shot it up onto the web):
(1) he will have married my baby Hope,
(2) Christmas (the scarf was his present from me to him) will have come and gone and
(3) the two of them had been in wedded bliss for 8 months or so.
Part of me wishes my baby Hope and The-Vyper had had a storybook wedding, with princess gowns & tiaras & champagne & an exotic honeymoon. But neither of them come from a background to provide this, so their wedding will be small (in their apartment) and their honeymoon a trip to Victoria to see the Provincial Museum and stay in a hotel with a pool (!)
"Mom!" my baby Hope assured me. "I wouldn't want it any other way. I'm happy Mom." She told me with aplomb.
Hope is my first baby, I love her & rely on her & am proud of her & worry about her and she does pretty much the same thing back with me. The-Vyper is adopted. His adopted Dad passed away a year before he married my baby Hope (The-Vyper misses him) and his adopted Mom is a good woman, loving with and proud of both her sons. The-Vyper has not yet had contact with his birth parents. It may never happen (?) He knows of his native heritage and of his adopted parents' care. He's got one brother that he grew up with and another he's never met. Up 'till now that's always been enough.
Now he's got my baby Hope & her family too.
FoOtnOtE (6)See THEmIng III The Scarf* Ten+ years later my baby Hope and The-Vyper separated. Such is life these days. The-Vyper never much wanted Hope's family. We all put our hands out from time to time and had them snapped at, so... you know... after a while... we stopped.Me... I wish The-Vyper only the best... and for my baby Hope, I wish her the peace that passes for happiness... and I wish it comes to her a lot earlier than I found it.
When I knit the scarves (mufflers) for Freedom and Ferdinand (brothers), I couldn't decide while I was knitting both of them (the scarves not the brothers) whether the intended recipient was Freedom or Ferdinand. In the end Ferdinand received my heritage scarf, the scarf above. Heritage in that it has a couple or few crows on it (I have history) and uses only Nordic designs (ancestors on my Dad's side). One of the designs is Swedish but the bulk of the designs are Norwegian.
Freedom's muffler ended up having a Spanish design (even more ancient history). What ended up as Ferdinand's muffler (the scarf above, I was tempted to keep for myself. Freedom lives all the way across this great country of Canada in a suburb of Toronto (mountains & foothills & prairies & grasslands & badlands & even more to cross before I can see Freedom). Ferdinand lives across the creek from us in a wonderful apartment that's scooter friendly (Ferdinand has multiple sclerosis MS). In the end, perhaps the decision as to who got which scarf was tipped in favour of Ferdinand because at least then I'd have the opportunity to see it (the muffler) more often.
On the other hand, I have visions of Ferdinand Hell's Angeling down the street in his scooter, cane raised high ready to defeat anyone standing in his way, my heritage red Viking scarf rampaging out behind him.
Rebel with MS is Ferdinand.
FoOtnOtE (7)See THEmIng III The Scarf
In the Lion's Den Socks
These socks were knit for Christmas for a then boyfriend of my youngest daughter Faith.
Faith was born on August 13th, a Thursday's child. I was in labour for forty-five minutes. The doctor didn't have time to change and delivered her in his street cloths. She's never forgiven me, my baby Faith, for giving her an August birthday and has provided me with just punishment by being a true Leo from the moment she left the chute.
"How could you give me a birthday in the middle of the summer when no one's around to come to my party Mom?! How could you!"
How does she make Mom a two-syllable word?
My telling her about being four feet wide in the middle of the hottest summer on record, having feet so swollen I couldn't wear shoes anymore and being pregnant nine and a half months doesn't even faze her.
"Wha'd'you expect Mom? Whatever."
I love my baby Faith. I loved her before she came out the chute and I continue to love her. She loves me too but that doesn't stop her from being directly responsible for 3,456 white hairs and 132 tiny wrinkles.
An epitome Faith story has Hope and Faith and I in the master bedroom of our two bedroom walk up. Hope was about 8, Faith 3. Panning of the camera displays Ikea boxes strewn throughout the room. Hope is intently handing me screwdrivers and 8-year-old advice. Faith is wandering the room, checking out empty boxes.
Deep into the intricacies of fitting a long screw through several pieces of wood and metal that don't quite line up, I looked up from my labour when I heard a knocking on the window.
We lived in an apartment on the second story. Knocking from the outside was fairly unusual.
Faith had opened the window, climbed through it and was standing on the other side of the window, on the awning, two stories up, knocking on the window, great big grin on her face, showing off, waving at her Mommy.
"Hi Mommy!" she laughed and waved.
She got my attention.