Thursday, June 28, 2012

What Will Happpen When I Am Gone?

I don't plan on going anywhere just yet, so don't panic or anything.  I have recently read several blog posts about finding lovely knitted or crocheted items in thrift stores.  After reading about the lovely blanket Kris at Simplify found, it got me thinking about what will happen to all my yarn creations when I am gone?  Will my family pack them up and send them to the Goodwill store?  Will they not understand how much work I put into each and every item?
 Here is a quick look at one of my closet shelves.  So much of my knitting/crocheting life is right here.  On top of the pile is the crochet vest I recently finished, underneath it is the blue crochet vest I finished before that.  The tropical shawls I made on vacation to remind me of the water in the Caribbean, and over to the left the gray Japanese Flower inspired shawl.  My new shrug is on the first shelf next to the really cool pinkish, crochet wrapped sweater I made last year.  I have so many shawls that are so beautiful  (see the right of the photo), that I never even wear.  Even if they are not on my body I still want them to be treated with respect and not given away.
 I have these small slanted shelves due to my closet being located under the stairs, even though they are small they can still hold the red wool wrapped vest (I have never worn), and the cotton Noro vest hiding underneath it.  I have a lovely green tunic made out of Berroco Glace to the right and an amazing black cardigan made from Glace underneath it.  These were all made years ago, but they still mean something to me.
 I do not have a craft room or even a craft space, my closet holds everything.  This is where I have my knitting and crochet supplies, my stash, my needles and hooks, and my project bags are all located here.  What will happen to all of this?  Will it go to someone who will love it as much as me? 
 I don't even have room for my latest purchases, they are still in the bags I brought them home in.  I don't intend for this yarn to linger out here on my closet floor, I just haven't got around to finding a place for it yet.  I find when I put the yarn in bins I forget about it.  If I had a craft room I swear all my yarn would be displayed so I could admire the beautiful colors and textures all the time.

I give many, many of my finished items away.  I know that a lot of them are never used by the people I give them to, but that is okay.  I was on a shawl kick a few years ago and everyone got a dropped stitch, knitted shawl for Christmas.  Then there was the year everyone got a felted bag, last year it was crocheted cowls.  I know these aren't used too much as I intimately know the people who received them.  But that doesn't stop me for making things for my family and friends, and for that case making things for myself.  I just wonder what will happen to all these items.  If they end up in a thrift store, I sure hope someone will find them and give them the love they deserve, and understand that a lot of time and love went into making them.

Do you ever wonder what will happen to the items you make?  And when you find and item, do you ever wonder about the person who made it?

22 comments:

Kristen said...

I wonder this all the time. I have a feeling all my yarny things mean way more to me than they ever will to anybody else, and that they will most likely end up someday at Goodwill. Alas, by then I'll be beyond caring, but maybe someone like you and me will come along and snatch them up for the treasures they are, and will feel lucky to have them, and will wonder about me and who I was. I like thinking of it that way.

Red said...

What a very thought provoking post today...

About two years ago my mother called me to tell she had run into an old friend who's mother had recently passed away. The friend's mother was a crocheter and the daughter had a closet full of "junk" she needed to get rid of. My mother asked what sort of "junk" and the woman said, "Oh you know - yarn and tons of it." My mother said she had a daughter that crocheted and would ask me if I was interested. Of course I literally jumped through the phone line to say YES! The woman simply gave the stash to my mother and I eventually got it. Although I never knew the woman when I had her yarn I felt like I did know her. There were unfinished items she had started; vintage yarn in gorgeous colors - all of which I have lovingly incorporated into my current projects and stash. I think about my yarn now and what would happen to it all should something happen to me. I have no doubt my DH would give it all to my cousin who is also a crocheter. That warms my heart. I'd like to think my items will live on in someone's home and heart after I'm gone. I think it's all we can really hope for. Another person's "junk" is another's treasure. Just like the treasure bestowed upon me. The woman's daughter had no attachment to her mother's love of yarn, but it made it's way to me and I think I did well with her yarn and I'd like to think she's looking down in approval at how I took her stash and made it my own.

Stitchy Mc Floss said...

I wonder all the time what will happen to my stuff. I know that it will probably only be thrown away since I don't have children and no one in my family really cares about knitting/crochet items. Hubby might give it away to the Salvation Army or something, not sure. I do believe he will keep all the afghans I have made, because he likes using them. I also have pillows and stuff that he'll probably keep. But all the shawls and toys will be given away I am sure.

I haven't bought anything yet that was being sold that someone else made and their family is trying to get rid of. I think it would make me so sad I am more than sure I'd tear up just thinking about all the time that person put into something and then to have it casts aside as an after thought. But I'd also be glad that I saved it and gave it a nice home, too.

Take all that stuff you have and don't wear and start wearing it girl! Enjoy the items you have made NOW.

Hugs to Max and you, too. :)

Rose said...

I feel sad every time I see a handmade item in the thrift store, because I know how much work went into it. I have one daughter and one stepdaughter who knits, so my stash will most likely stay in the family. As for the items already knit, I don't have too many in my possession, as I give so much away now. I keep a few baby things on hand, but unless I'm using it, off it goes. Great post!

Dee said...

I take my outdated knitted stuff to Goodwill all the time. I don't mind if that's where my stuff ends up after I am gone. Maybe SOMEONE will find it there and be able to use it.

As for my stash ... my friends are already lined up at the door ... LOL

Kris said...

I am sitting here on my sofa, all wrapped up in my beautiful freshly washed blanket that I rescued from the thrift. I think about this all the time too. It breaks my heart to know that so many sons and daughters, have simply tossed the hand made things of their loved ones, not knowing what sort of time and love went into making these heirlooms. I am a quilter too, and it sickens me to think that one of my quilts that I spent hundreds of hours on, may end up in a bag heading off to the goodwill. I can only hope that someone like us...will lovingly rescue these pieces, and make them a part of their home.
Loved this post.
: ) Kris

kathy b said...

Meredith

I rescued a gorgeous crocheted wool blanket from a thrift store and revived it. I Felt so lucky.
I don't give my knit ups much thought....I give more thought to knit ups that I should have frogged or will never use because they are UGLY. I try to use them for the cats who are not picky as long as what they lie on is soft .....and warm.

Babajeza said...

I often see items that are handmade in thrift stores and I think of the women that made them. Sometimes I buy something.

I will give my things to friends and family if there is time before I die. But then I think if I am dead I won't care anymore. That's freedom!

Rizzi said...

I HEAR YOU MEREDITH.......I AM 72....I AM ALREADY GIVING THINGS AWAY I HAVE TWO DAUGHTERS AND FOUR GRANDDAUGHTERS.....I HAD A BEAUTIFUL FIGURINE OWL COLLECTION...SOME VERY EXPENSIVE....I DIVIDED THEM UP BETWEEN THEM ALL.....IT MADE ME HAPPY AND THEY WERE HAPPY....A LOT OF MY CRAFTS AND ART WORK I ALSO GAVE AWAY.....AT FIRST I WONDERED ABOUT IT....BUT WHEN THEY WERE GONE...I HAD MORE SPACE AND IT WAS OK....HAVE A GREAT DAY.....RIZZI

minaandme said...

What a thought provoking post. It really does make you wonder about your "legacy" so to speak. I feel a bit compelled to go raid the Goodwill shop now....
~Lacey

Nana Go-Go said...

Luckily for you, Dearest Meredith, you'll have a growing brood of females in the family when your sons marry so just make sure they hitch up with 'crafty' women...in the best possible sense, of course!Failing that, you'll probably find, as the years roll by that you will downsize your collection from time-to-time. If you look at some DIY blogs, they have pretty snazzy ideas for storage,especially in small spaces so that could be your new project - pretty baskets are ideal storage solutions.
In the meantime, don't fret about the future and what will happen to your beautiful things, just keep making them and enjoying the process into the bargain and allow the rest of us to gaze in awe at your talent.
Have a great weekend, my friend. x

Shari said...

I also think of this often Meredith. I have a 14yr old daughter who I am hoping that one day she will love to crochet, but for now she doesn't seen to like any of it. My mom doesn't either...but I do have a sister who knits all the time. I am hopeful that someone in my close family will take care of all the things that I treasure and maybe give away to someone who enjoys this craft as much as I do... what a great post today!!

Lap Dog Knits said...

my knitting neighbor and I have a plan...whoever goes first...the other one heads over to claim all the yarn n needles while the funeral is going on...
I give away most all of what I knit..it frees up room for me to have new beautiful yarns...the items are made with the hours of my life..to be shared and spread around to others...they'll know I was here..even if we never met..even if they don't appreciate my work..they hold moments of my life in their hands.

by Teresa said...

Wow, indeed something to think about. My kids do like my crocheted blankets, thank heavens. I have way too much yarn that I haven't used yet. I need to get busy! I guess when I'm gone I won't have to worry about it.. the kids will.. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Grayseasailor said...

Meredith, Most of the women in our family tend to treasure the handmade, so I like to think what I have made will find a loving home and get thoroughly worn out:)
But whether or not the things I make are used, I must make them!
An interesting truth to ponder...
Gracie <3

lovestitch said...

I have not yet thought about this, but you made me wonder too. No one in my family can crochet or knit, but they treasure my work and all my crafting stuff. I've still not yet either got married or had kids, so I hardly say about my children. One thing I know for sure that my sweetie respects all my handmade items and if I am gone before him, he will treat them the best, or may give them away to someone who deserves...

angeliki said...

Ηi Meredith! Glad I fond your blog (and became your 100th follower!!).
It's been about three months I started crocheting (really love it!) so I don't have "problems" like yours yet!
Have a nice day,
Angeliki

delia hornbook said...

To be honest i never think about what will happen to my things i know the boys will keep certain things i have made especialy the quilts and toys i made them. We have all had pleasure in the things that are in the home everything is vintage and holds some one elses memories as well as ours now they understand that. So i guess if i love the things i have brought and made then someone else will to ;-)) dee x

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

What I've been worrying about lately is all the stuff I've got crammed into cupboards, drawers, baskets, trunks. If something happens to me, who will go through it all? That's why I want to get organized. So that I leave behind a tidy space rather than a big mess. I gotta let go of stuff and use what I have. Guys have a way of distancing themselves from sentimental things. My mother-in-law died 7 years ago, and 1-1/2 years after that, my FIL passed away. My husband only kept a few of his clothes and his briefcase that was filled with things. When it comes right down to it, it's not stuff that defines us. Our memories are of moments and people, not things. That's what I try to remember. :) Have a great day! Tammy

Rose Red said...

I wonder this too sometimes, especially about my stash. I need to let my husband know my preferences! Perhaps I should do a post on it too.

Teresa said...

I think about that too... we don't even have thrift shops here in Portugal! I often find myself thinking "do I really need this or that?" and "if I disappeared suddenly, what would happen to all the things I've made, my stash, my little treasures, all the things I care about?" Maybe it has to do with the sense of mortality I've had since I was ill...
So I try not to think too much of it. If I had a girl maybe she'd care like I care for my grandma or great-grandma's things, but I only have a son and doubt he'll look at these things the same way I do. Maybe that's why I end up giving away so many things and can't seem to find courage to make them to sell...
Anyway... a little (mocking?) birdie has mentioned something about a birthday?! I'm not sure it's today, but happy birthday, dear friend, and have a wonderful 4th of July :) (yes, I'm still around and quite well and reading your posts, but not in much of a blogging mood these days...)
xxx
Teresa

christy said...

Thank god my daughter loves to craft,and crochet as much as I do and she always loves and wants to borrow what I make. So I am sure that will be the first stuff she grabs first lol..