20 September 2006

Andrew's Ugly Camo Hat

This is a picture of my brother, Andrew, and my best friend, Brooke. Who is not my real sister, but my mom's favorite daughter!


I keep a knitting journal. That is one of my hobbies...keeping too many journals for lists, and specific things. It is out of control, but that's for another day.

I started a knitting journal to write about how I started knitting, projects I had done, people I had taught to knit, and a place to reflect on life lessons learned. Yes! All from knitting. It can certainly be a metaphor for life, if you didn't already know.

At knitting circle tonight we were discussing siblings and only children. My friend,
Sherry , who is an only child, seemed alarmed how siblings really try to hurt each other. I laughed and told her that hurting each other was part of the fun! By the way, I'm glad that everyone seemed to prefer whatever they were, a sister, or an only child.

So in honor of the brother that I have bitten, pinched, hit with the middle seatbelt, dressed up in a tutu to walk around the block, and embarrassed over the years, I'm going to tell you why he is my favorite recipient of a knitted gift. Oh, and this is a brother who punched me in the eye on Th
anksgiving while I was wearing glasses and drew blood.

From my journal:
...my beloved brother died last December 16th, 2005. It has shaken my world and at the same time made me feel closer to him. Besides being one of my all time favorite people, he was the most enthusiastic recipient of any knitted gift I have ever made for someone.

Probably three or four years ago--(it was the Christmas I couldn't go home to Florida and was in Indiana with Mike's family), I wanted to make him something special to show him how much I
loved him. So I knit him a beanie in 2x2 ribs with awful Red Heart camouflage acrylic yarn from the Stitch N' Bitch book.

It was knit well, but a little small. When I gave it to him, he loved it and wore it all the time. Until the time when he died. (About three years non-stop). It was smelly and stretched out, reeked of smoke and hair oil, and it was very loved.

He wore it in the summer, winter, spring and fall. In Florida, no less. He wore it while brushing his teeth, walking to the bus stop, and to sleep, so that his unruly hair would be more manageable in the morning. I guess I could have told him that he could have washed it. (We're talking about crunchy Red Heart acrylic yarn here!)

My brother died in December. I found the hat in his room and it still smelled like him. I held it to my face and bawled. My mom asked if I wanted to keep it, but I didn't want to. I wanted to keep the best loved hat with my best loved brother. It was to be mixed with his ashes and they would return to the Earth together.

Somehow the hat was not put in the pile. I think my mom could not bear to part with it either. The smell is now gone, but not the memories and love.


Aponia said...

Thats such a nice post. Your brother sounded awesome. You are the best sister ever.

The only person I ever used to knit for was my mom. She would love everything I made for her and would wear it often. No I knit for my mom-in -law because she appreciates my knitting as much as my mom did. So its like I still have a mom to give my gifts to.

Lisa said...

Maris, that was a lovely post. First I cracked up at your brother in a tutu and then cried. You are very lucky to have had a brother like him.


your sort of only child friend

nicole from phs said...

That was a powerful post. I think your decision not to keep the hat for your own memory's sake shows how selflessly you love your brother.

Sherry W said...

That's so sad, I'm sorry you lost him so soon.