Crafting a Legacy

In my home, as well as my mom’s, there is evidence of my handiwork everywhere — evidence of me. It is my legacy, I suppose, along with other things I’ll let my family and friends determine on my behalf. But I love to create, and those I love are the recipients of my creative efforts, generally, I hope, because they want to be.

One of my young friends just moved from Arkansas to Wisconsin, and she has this cap to keep her warm!

Long ago I learned only to give to those whom I know, or have reason to believe, will appreciate the gift. Over the years I’ve received many gracious notes, letters, text messages and phone calls saying, “thank you!” The most memorable, I suppose, was the hug from a co-worker when I made him a mohawk cap (it was knitted, then felted, and when he wore it, it resembled a mohawk). He was in a band, and wore it when he played. Later he wanted me to make the same cap for the others in his band, but I didn’t have the time.

I asked him for a picture with him wearing the cap, and he promised me he’d take one and forward it to me, but I never received it. Never mind, he was so excited about the cap, and I hold that memory close.

Some fingerless mitts I designed.

At that same workplace I made fingerless mitts for my friends who worked in receiving. Later, I knitted a second pair for one of them when she lost the first pair. Last year I designed and made another pair of fingerless mitts for a friend when she cat-sat for me while I took cared for my mom after surgery.

But take a look at my mom’s home. Never mind the plethora of sweaters I’ve made her, there’s the shawl, the pillow, the quilts, the dish cloths I embroidered, bookmarks I stenciled, jewelry boxes I decorated, a picture of a wild parakeet I drew and soon, she’ll have curtains in her kitchen (just waiting for the fabric to get that one done).

I come by this passion for creating honestly. My mom sewed while I was growing, everything from my underwear to my dad’s suits. She was incredible. My dad, a computer programmer by profession (which I think of as creative), made and sold pottery when I was in high school. If he’d wanted to, it’s likely he could have quit his job and been a full-time potter, but the timing wasn’t right.

When my niece was younger, I designed and knit some clothes for her Barbie dolls — and I’m still designing !

Knitting is my primary outlet. I’ve been knitting for more than 38 years, and in recent years have been designing a little here and there. Actually, I’ve always done some design, I just never recorded it.

My friends and family keep warm in the winter because of the hats, gloves, mittens, scarves, cowls and the like I’ve made. For that matter, some strangers do, too, as I always make a few things for my church’s Giving Tree each year, where we collect cold-weather clothing of all kinds to give to those who come to the food bank each week.

Yes, it’s my legacy, and it’s a legacy of love.

A few years ago, I did a lot of quilting, and I may do some more someday. For now, these keep my home cheery and the bannister warm. Plus, the cats like to “hide” under the one on the left!



16 Replies to “Crafting a Legacy”

  1. Good gosh, Belinda–you are talented! I have refinished furniture for friends and gifted them with crewel embroidery….but, that’s it. Quilts….I have quite a few of those I have collected over the years, but have never quilted. Yours are just beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Belinda, this was fascinating to read about your knitting projects and all the special gifts you’ve created. I am certain you’ve spread a lot of joy and I’m inspired by your generosity of giving.
    Occasionally, I give away a gift of one of my paintings. Perhaps it’s the hours and feeling that it’s “one of a kind” that makes it hard for me to part with it. I haven’t done it very often. But the pleasure I’ve gotten from giving a painting as a gift has been sweet – so I easily understand why you love to knit.
    You are an artist! Your parents passed that legacy of love down to you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes!! I did that do much and it made my mom do happy. I would visit her home and enjoy seeing a gallery of my artwork on her walls.
        Now that she’s gone, those paintings hold even more meaning.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the joyful intention you bring to each piece – choosing who you will make it for, knowing it’s important that the work will be appreciated by them, crafting something unique for them. I also love that it’s often been for workmates. Our workplaces can be such loving environments with these kinds of gifts.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m appreciating the impact that people have even after we no longer work together. Your comment reminds me that some friendships I have flourished after we were no longer in the same workplace. I guess it gave us more freedom.


  4. These are so beautiful Belinda! Reminds me of my younger years when my mother and aunts sat outside the house knitting furiously, the winter sun warming their backs. It’s a great gift you have!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. When I was little I can remember so many members of my family who knitted and as a result many gifts we shared at Christmas were handmade. And of course, those gifts turned out to be the most memorable and most useful of all!

    Liked by 1 person

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