by Lee Louise
My daughter came for a visit recently. When she left, she tossed a crocheted dishcloth onto my lap and said, basically, “I made this for you, you can finish the ends.”
I looked at it, looked at her, and started working sums. It took me 17 years to finish the ends on a little red baby sweater. 17 years from now? It would probably be 2035 before we could use that dishcloth.
That night, before I started knitting, I worked in the ends, and the dishcloth is now folded neatly in drawer with all its little friends. So proud of myself!!! Thank you, Margaret.
However. The dishcloth made me remember her graduation afghan. High school graduation. The one that I finished when she was a sophomore in college. She wanted one of those multi-stranded afghans that were so popular at the time. We went to the yarn store, and she chose four different yarns, that I dutifully (and perhaps resentfully) held together and knitted, using size 35 knitting needles. It was not particularly fun for me. I was thinking descriptive words that I hadn’t known that I knew, as I knit that afghan. It didn’t that take long to knit, but remember that there were four yarns, each in different length skeins. There were multiple skeins of each yarn. Needless to say, there were many, many ends to finish off when the knitting was done, and since it was knit at a size 35 (for my non-knitting friends, those are Very Large knitting needles) gauge, they were going to be hard to work in securely.
Snarling, though snarling gently through a pasted-on smile, so as not to be too obvious as I thought my uncharitable thoughts, I took the afghan to her at the university, forcefully handed it to her (okay, maybe I threw it at her), and informed her that she could finish the ends.
I never saw Margaret’s afghan again, and I finally asked her when she was here if she had ever used it, if she had finished the ends, if she still had it. No, she said. It was one of the things that was destroyed in a house fire, so she didn’t still have it. No, she had never used it; no, she had never finished the ends. But now she wished she had used it, even with the ends undone.
We understand each other. And I admit that I totally deserved having an unfinished dishcloth dropped in my lap. I thought about that afghan as I finished the dishcloth, in less than 17 years. I have two more high school graduation afghans to make, then I will make Margaret another afghan, though in a design of my own choosing. And I might even finish the ends before I give it to her, though I might not. What goes around comes around, after all.