Creating Love

Posted by on Nov 30, 2010 in All, Writing

As the holidays get into full swing, for many of us, there is a mandate to GIVE. For some folks, it’s about giving to our favorite charities, for others it’s about giving our friends and family something to show our love. And for some of us really crazy types, it’s about MAKING something for the people we care about.

Given the time and inspiration, I am definitely a MAKER. Earlier this year I spoke of how my book, “I’m Not Afraid of Snakes” was a gift for my father. I would not have made that book without the stories of my childhood, and how he kept me safe from the creepy crawlies that dwelled in the river near our home in South Florida.

After making the book, I decided I wanted to make some of the characters from the book into knitted toys. With my 3 year-old godson, Aiden, in mind, I designed and knitted the Walking Catfish, making sure it was fun to make, and safe for little ones to play with. Aiden has named his “Petey,” for some reason.

knitted catfish toy

The Walking Catfish, or Petey, in his natural environment.

My friends encouraged me to make the book and knitting pattern available to more people, which has been a great learning experience. From figuring out how to communicate the stories of my childhood into text and images, to learning about the printing process, to making the action of knits and purls into a simple recipe – I’m fairly certain that I ended up getting more out of these gifts than my dad or godson have, in the end.

This year, I’m giving some more hand-made gifts. Unfortunately, I can’t talk about them too much here, but I will say that I have fallen in love with garter stitch (for you non-knitters, that means just knitting back and forth, making a squishy, lovely, ridged fabric – the most basic of the basic), and I had one lucky day with a good camera, the perfect light, and lots of family nearby. I truly hope the recipients enjoy their presents, and I know that my love and appreciation of them has made the making, and the giving, more meaningful.

Are you a maker? What do you do to show appreciation for the people you love?

P.S.: Shameless Plug

This Sunday, December 5th, I’ll be at the most wonderful Cloverhill Yarn Shop from 2 to 4pm, reading “I’m Not Afraid of Snakes,” and talking about the book and the Walking Catfish pattern, which the lovely folks at Cloverhill have packaged into an adorable kit. Hope to see you there!

P.P.S.: About the Picture

That photo captures the perfect light, a freshly-picked tomato, and the cool water of Lake Champlain – a family memory that is a precious gift to me.