Saturday, December 26, 2015

Joyful Journey

The story of a Mothers quiet encouragement &  an Afghan that has been 3 years in the making.

Back in 2012, not long after arriving here in Australia, I saw a ball of wool that I fell in love with ( nothing new there!) - a nice long run colour changing yarn that would be perfect for the centre piece of some squares I had seen called Noro Circles Afghan. Of course I bought it, well two balls of it - just to have a play with & keep my hands busy in the evenings. I thought perhaps I'd make a cushion out of the squares.

A couple of weeks later it went on sale & I bought a couple more balls in a different colourway & crocheted away until I ran out again.....which was about the time that Mum came over from New Zealand to stay with us. She saw what I was doing & fell in love with it, encouraging me to make the afghan, despite the fact that I said I didn't know if it would ever get cold enough here to use it.
On one of our trips out & about we were in the store that sold the wool looking at craft supplies & she bought me a few balls of it. I guessed that it was on it's way to becoming an afghan rather than a pillow!

I well recall teasing her when she said "I'd absolutely love something like that to snuggle up in" - replying with a comment about the bright colours screaming at her decor. Knowing Mum as I did, I knew her comment wasn't intended as a hint that she'd like me to give her the one I was making, she would have asked outright, it was simply her way of encouraging me.
But the seed of an idea was planted & I figured later I would make her one in some of the more muted colourways available in the range.

So it went on, after Mum went home - when I had a bit of money to spare & the store would have a discount, promotion or sale I'd buy a couple more balls. Slowly the pile of squares grew. Over time the wool had become harder to get & I'd had to search around other stores to get it.

The store chain eventually discontinued the yarn & all of a sudden in mid 2013 I was finished, whether I liked it or not! I started laying it out on the spare bed trying to figure how I wanted to put over 100 different squares in numerous different colourways of the wool together....and there was nothing I could come up with that felt "right"...mainly because I was over thinking it before I even started. After an incident involving a cat, her hair & the disturbance of a semi likeable layout I packed the squares away as Summer approached... & forgot all about it.

Then, in March 2014, I got the call from Mum that she was pretty darn ill. As I made arrangements to go to visit her while she was still "reasonably well" my mind went to the squares sitting there & I knew what I wanted to do with them, but also that I wouldn't have time to sew all the ends in & assemble them before leaving for New Zealand. Believing that she had another 5 months I thought that I'd do it when I got back & send it to her.

It wasn't to be. When I arrived back after her funeral & right up until October this year I haven't been able to face them. It was actually the Jacarandas that reminded me of the squares, & I determined to somehow celebrate Mum's life & mark her journey through it. I assembled the squares into an afghan during the days that were the anniversary of her time here with me.

In the end it was easy - take a leaf out of her book. Because despite every stinking illness, & every emergency surgery & hospital stay - Mum stayed optimistic. She took great joy in life & in those she loved or cared about. She always looked on the bright side & was a beacon of light to friends or family going through anything. She always had time to support & encourage others, no matter what she was going through.

So the layout became easy - push the darker squares into the opposite corners & let the joy & light shine through.

It would have been Mum's 78th Birthday today - I hadn't given her a hand crafted Birthday present of any significance since I made her a porcelain doll "Joey" back in 1993.
I can honour her memory by celebrating her life this way though -

Caroles Joyful Journey