Sunday, 27 October 2013

Two teddies find their smiles

Last Friday was a wonderfully serendipitous day.

It all began when I decided to sort out my knitting cupboard into some sort of organised system so that I could easily pick up a 'work in progress' without having to search through piles of mess. The mess is how it came to be that Usain Bolt's impressive limbs remained detached from his slightly overstuffed torso and lead him to become a subject for a Gallery post rather than a finished product. Even small obstacles can serve as a deterrent to success and the 'mess' became a large obstacle quicker than the real Mr Bolt could sprint the 100metres.

So I tidied. Knitting patterns cut from magazines were slotted into punched pockets and put in a file. Unravelling yarns were rewound into neat balls. Like was stored with like. Bits of rubbish were binned. Everything fitted back into the  cupboard with considerably more ease. All that was left was to remind myself of the forgotten 'works in progress' and make a decision about whether they were worth finishing.

One of the forgotten works was a pair of trauma bears that my mum and I had knitted. They were complete but for the faces. My mum is a very competent knitter but is the first to admit that when it comes to the finishing touches, she can be very far from her comfort zone. She left me with the task of embroidering the faces onto the bears and I honestly had every intention of doing it. I just put it off for a while. When guilt forced me into action, I went back to the website that had launched the trauma bear appeal to look for any tips on how to do the face. I wasn't sure if I was disappointed or relieved to read a new article about the massive response they had had and how they had been inundated with teddies from knitters far and wide. Our lovingly knitted trauma bears were now surplus to requirement. I wrapped them in a plastic bag, still faceless, and buried them in the cupboard.

Rediscovering the bears reminded me of how much we had enjoyed knitting them and how nice it had been to be doing it for such a good cause. I wondered what I should do with them now.

It was that very evening that the same friend who had first told me about the trauma bear appeal came over to see me with a favour to ask. She had been talking to one of the volunteers in a local charity shop who had been putting together shoe boxes of Xmas gifts for disadvantaged children. The idea of including a small knitted toy was mentioned and my friend thought of me. She came to ask if there was any possibility of my mum and I getting out our needles and making something along the same lines as the bears.

As she was asking, I couldn't believe the happy coincidence. I told her about the two faceless teddies that had languished in the cupboard for too long and how happy it would make me to finish them off and donate them.

And that is what I did.

The task that had filled me with dread before became an exciting challenge and it wasn't all that difficult to do to what I considered an acceptable standard. They are both back in their plastic bag and ready to be taken to the charity shop. Only this time, they can look out and smile. And I can smile too.

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