Friday, January 31, 2014

Random Moment of Beauty: Vintage Afghan

A "random moment of beauty" is a post which features something I see in my day-to-day housework which catches my eye and makes me pause and just wonder at it, and reflect. In this case, there is a story behind the moment.

When deep-cleaning my room the other day, I decided to wash the vintage afghan which I have had on my window seat for years (I believe I've posted it on my blog before, but it wasn't fully visible). It was crocheted of pure wool in the 1960s, and this was the first time I had ever dared to wash it. When it came out of the wash, the colors were so bright and unfaded I just sat for a while and looked at them, as though seeing them for the first time.

You see, I've seen this afghan all my life long, since I was an infant. It belonged to my father, who kept it on his bed for years. He had received it as a gift when he was in the hospital recovering from his Vietnam war injuries. It was made specially for him by a kind older lady who wanted to do something to show her appreciation for a young soldier who had just lost his leg in the service of his country. She also knitted him a Christmas stocking, which he later gave to me, his first child, and which I still use every Christmas.

When the afghan became fragile with age, my mother packed it in a chest, and years later, after I married, I found it and asked to have it. For a long time I kept it in a cedar chest of my own, but I finally decided to take it out and use it in on a bedroom window seat which is out of the traffic-ways of our busy home.

All these years, it has been a thing of beauty that I never really noticed, and it still is. I wish I knew the name of the lady who made it. Her act of kindness is a gift that has kept on giving throughout the years.


Joanne said...

Such a lovely story. I have an afghan story of my own. When Jimmy and I were dating, I crocheted him one for Christmas and on it I attached a hand embroidered little poem on a square of satin. After 35 years of marriage, we still have the blanket, but the satin poem has long since frayed away. Only in the physical sense, though, as I still remember the verse, "I've learned a song of happiness, it is a song of love... For love alone is happiness and happiness is love."

Sophie said...

Read you just recently "dared" to wash it. No worries about washing wool (by hand that is)--I do it all the time. I used to use Woolite til they changed to a stronger perfumy smell, and nowI use baby shampoo...seems to do the job.