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


Kerry Spark said...

Absolutely gorgeous Deb, as are your words! She was one of the most amazing women I've ever had privilege to have in my life, she will always hold a piece of my heart. Happy Birthday, Carole, you truly wonderful woman!!!
Kerry x

Linda said...

Very beautiful and creative! Happy New Year to you. :)