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Small Gifts

Hi there!Jule the Cat

Man, that took a long time. Don’t you hate it when there is nothing much wrong with you, but you simply feel worn out and sleepy? Last week was like that again – on Friday, I felt too tired and groggy to go to the library (!), so I went to the doc again to make sure I didn’t catch bronchitis. Good news: No bronchitis. Bad news: The cold simply hadn’t worn off yet. Argh … I didn’t have to call in sick again, though, and so I spent yet another weekend on the couch, with lots of knitting, a new game for my DS (“Golden Sun – The Dark Descent”) and (since I didn’t have any new library books) Elizabeth Gilbert’s “The Signature of All Things”.

Rest was only interrupted on Saturday, when we went to E.’s birthday party.

Apart from the book she had asked for (a crime novel – E. will read just about anything if it contains corpses, a detective and gruesome murder), I had a surprise present in store.

The Blueberry Shawl.

I do not quite know how much I have told you about the Blueberry Shawl. Its original name is Lionberry, and it’s a most beautiful, elegant pattern on ravelry that came out in May. It’s free! I know that I wrote a short blog post about it (here), and I remember that I even blocked it, but somehow, I never got round to show it to you properly.

Well. Here it is.

Blueberry 02

As you can see, Lion, er, Blueberry is a triangular shawl with lots of different patterns. It is knit from the top down and the individual patterns are divided by sections of stockinette stitch. It presents a great variety of lace, stockinette stitch, a bit of garter and moss stitch.

Blueberry 05

(The picot bind-off was a bit of a pain, to be honest.)

Now, I know that giving away handknit items without notice is risky. E. has received one or two scarfs from me already, but they were both very short. I had asked whether she wore dark blue (yes), but of course, I didn’t know whether she might like it and the whole thing was such a great idea. But to plead my case: She has many more occasions to put it to good use, and I don’t know truly whether I would have worn it anyway. (Also, I have another skein of this yarn. If need be, I can always knit myself another one – this time, in purple.)

Blueberry 03

Thus, Friday night was spent reblocking the shawl again and when E. unwrapped the scarf on Saturday night, gasped and then threw a look at the other guests, holding the shawl up and saying: “This is HANDMADE. Not bought. Just so you know!”, I knew that I had made the right decision. After admiring the shawl for a minute, she suddenly looked at me and her face lit up again. “I already know how I’m gonna wear this!”, she said, “I’ve got this really cute top I can combine this with!”
“I thought it might be something you could also wear to work, over a simple blouse”, I said, smiling, and she nodded enthusiastically. “Yes! That, too!”

 

The other gift is truly quite small. It took me a bit over two hours to make it, and I knit it on Friday, after returning from the doctor’s. I handed it in as my Quidditch project, and it represents my patronus.

Jule the Cat

You see, when I grew up, we had a cat. She came to us when I was very small, and she was the first cat my sister and me knew. Her name was Jule, and she died in 2002 at the age of 19 from stomach cancer and her second stroke. My father and me went to see the vet with her immediately, and when he told us that it was best to end her sufferings and that she could never be healthy again, I saw my father cry for the very first time. My sister was on a holiday with a friend and her parents at that time, so she never got to say goodbye properly.

Jule was a true cat. She reminded you of an old British lady with a very strict sense of what was right and wrong. She loved to eat crisps and peanuts and pretzel sticks and once made fun of my dad while he was telling her off and waving his finger in front of her by sniffing at it as if he had held it out to await her permission to pet her.

She raised my sister and me and taught us how to behave around cats, what they like and what they disapprove of, and although she could sometimes be strict, she was never cruel or mean. She cared for us and was always there. There never was a cat like her, and she was nanny and mother and friend to my sister and me.

I had dreamed about her the night before and somehow, whenever this happens (and it happens occasionally), I wake up with a feeling that everything will be alright and that I just need to be brave.

I knit this little cat up (the pattern is another freebie and is originally knit with DK weight yarn, but I used leftover sock wool), photographed her, and took it to my sister, who moved last week. The little cat will now live at my sister’s and protect her new home as a friendly house spirit. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Giving gifts may be difficult. But giving joy is easy. ๐Ÿ™‚
Until next time, my friends! Take care!

Love,
Julia ๐Ÿ˜€

 

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5 thoughts on “Small Gifts

  1. Two delightful stories! I am so glad your friend appreciates the value of the handmade gift. And your cat story was just lovely. ๐Ÿ™‚ I bet your sister loves her guardian.

    • thank you so, so much!
      My sister has – without ONE exception – never asked for anything handknit, and she is very sensitive around the neck, so she HAS set me down to tell me I didn’t need to take the trouble to knit something for her. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But when she got the little cat, she was really, really happy! I’m sure it’ll find a good home – it’s a small cat, so it can be put anywhere and doesn’t take up much space. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Pingback: Flash your stash 2016! (Pictures. Many Pictures) | Words and Stitches

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