Friday, December 15, 2006

When mistakes don't really matter

I broke one of my own rules this week.

The rule is this: Don't ever donate an item for somebody else to use that you wouldn't be perfectly proud to see on your own child or use yourself. In other words - don't turn out junk in the name of charity, because that's not charitable at all.

I still believe in that rule. But when my schoolteacher daughter called Wednesday night to tell me about a family with a lot of children who'd just lost everything in a fire, it seemed appropriate to recalibrate my internal formula of quality vs. utility.

I'd built up a fairly substantial box of stuff that was clearly not my best work. A knitted blanket in double-thick baby pastels, but too large and too heavy for a baby. Another in garishly bright yarn. A winter scarf that seemed a few stitches wider than it ought to be. A bunch of hats that were experiments for new styles and stitches - and close inspection revealed more than a few bungled rows and mis-aligned ribs.

I'm not a perfectionist in my craft work by any means. Still, I hadn't felt right about sending this stuff off to the hospital or the youth center. But it seemed a shame to let vanity keep a bunch of hats and blankets in a box in my guest room when they could, with all their flaws, be put to much better use.

So off the box went to Brooklyn yesterday - along with the little jester hat I completed on Sunday, and a flannel baby blanket a la my mother.

This family will need a lot more help getting back on their feet, but if the children have new blankets to cuddle with at night, I hope it'll help at least a little.


Joe said...

Anne, very insightful. Yes, there is a time when the sheer presence of something new is a huge gift.

Neat of Maureen to sense the need and make the call.

Stephanie said...

You are right on the mark. Right now what that family needs is someone to say I care, no matter if the way you say it is with a donation of money or a cozy blanket. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Hope to see you again there soon!

Jeannette said...

Sometimes when we make mistakes, it matters to us more that the recievers.
I made a hat and I noticed a missed stitch like 6 rows down. I'm not going to frog back. I'll just sew it maybe. It's also made with about 6 kinds of verigated yarn.
There are all kinds of ppl and someone will really like loud colors.
I think it's the thought and effort that counts.
I think of my Mom who still has all those (flops) beginning crocheted things of mine. LOL