Verdict: NOT stupid!

Monday, December 19, 2005, 7:30 p.m. Phone conversation

Grandma: Hello?

Me: Hi, grandma, how are you?

Grandma: I’m good. Mom received your shawl today. You should have seen the sparkle in her eyes, she really loved it.

Me: Is she home?

Grandma: No, she’s at the supermarket.

Me: So, yeah, she really liked it?

Grandma: She really did. She was totally surprised! You didn’t tell her a word!

Me: Maybe she forgot, but she told me exactly what she wanted back in November. And then she asked to never speak of the project again. I guess she realized that it would be some work and didn’t want to encourage me anymore. But I remembered!

Grandma: Yeah, I guess she forgot, then, or she just didn’t tell me. And you always remember! Well, you should have seen the sparkle in her eyes! She was so happy with it! It’s really beautiful.

Me: Was the size right?

Grandma: Yeah, it was just right. It’s the perfect thing – you can wrap it around your shoulders under a coat, or you can wear it out with a dress or a fancy outfit. It’s so warm, too, the wool.

Me: It’s 50% wool, 50% silk, which is why it’s shiny and warm at the same time.

Grandma: It’s just beautiful; you should have seen her surprise and the sparkle in her eyes.

Me: You liked it?

Grandma: Oh yeah, it’s so neat and perfect.

Me: Is it the kind of thing you’d like for yourself?

Grandma: [sigh] [pause] You’re so busy, it’s not like you have time for these things.

Me: Grandma, I wouldn’t be offering if I didn’t have the time. You know, I have my one and only mom, and when she asked me for a shawl, that was all I needed to make her one. Similarly, I have only one grandma – you – and I would knit whatever you wanted.

Grandma: [silent] [stammers] Well… it’s just such a huge project! How long did it take you?

Me: Well, it took me a little while to get just the right yarn, but then I finished the knitting in only four days!

Grandma: Four days?!? [stammers]

Me: The thing is that I don’t want to knit without being asked. I don’t want to knit things people don’t want. But as soon as I’m asked…

Grandma: Well, then… like your mom said, don’t speak to me of this again. [laughs]

Me: Grandma!!! Mom claims that it went down like that, but she told me all the details – she said that she wanted a triangular shawl, and that she wanted leaves, and that she wanted a steel gray color. Those are the types of things that really help me to get the project just right.

Grandma: You know me, you know what I like…

Me: Blue?

Grandma: I like light and dark blue, and light and dark muted green. I don’t like bright colors.

Me: And for style?

Grandma: I really like the triangle shape, it’s a perfect thing. I would want that. Just like the one you knit for your mom.

Me: I wouldn’t knit one just like that. There are other triangular shawls out there. You know square shawls are really triangles if you fold them in half…

Grandma: Yeah, you can knit a square shawl for variety sake, I guess. It doesn’t matter if it’s folded up like a triangle.

Me: Alright, grandma, I get the idea.

Grandma: Oh, here’s mom, she’s back from the grocery store.

Hands the phone off to mom

Mom: Hi!

Me: I hear you received the shawl!

Mom: Yes, thank you so much, it’s beautiful. I wasn’t expecting it at all.

Me: What do you mean? You told me exactly what you wanted back in November, and then you asked me to never mention it again, and I didn’t (side note: I have many faults, but inability to keep my mouth shut isn’t one of them). Remember? You told me you wanted a steel gray, triangular shawl with leaves.

Mom: [laughs] I guess. It’s beautiful! It is so neat, you knit so neatly.

Me: Thank you. And the size?

Mom: It’s a great size. You know, you can wear such a thing to a fancy occasion and it would look great with a dress or anything. Or it can be a scarf for everyday use.

Me: I’m glad you can see many uses for it. But you know, I’d rather you wear it everyday. It’s very nice, but it didn’t take me long to make, and I can always make you another just like it or a different one.

Mom: Oh? How long did it take?

Me: It took me a while to get the right yarn, but the actual knitting only took four days.

Mom: Oh! How do you wash it? Is it even washable?

Me: Yeah. You handwash it, and then you need to spread out a big towel and smooth it out on it, making sure to pull at the individual points. Plus it wasn’t very expensive (I didn’t tell her how much, but for your information and mine: about $30).

Mom: Well then, I guess I’ll wear it everyday! You know, it has all these holes, but it’s really warm.

Me: That’s right, the yarn is 50% wool, 50% silk. When you look at it during daylight tomorrow, it will look more blue than gray. I think the silk gives this great color that varies depending on light.

Mom: Oh yeah? I’ll have to take a look tomorrow.

Me: So, you know, I’m going to make one for grandma… She said she wanted a light or dark blue one…

Mom: No, she doesn’t like dark colors.

Me: That’s what she said…

Mom: She’d much rather have a light blue one, I think. Something muted, you know?

Me: Alright. Doesn’t matter to me, so light blue it is.


Light blue it is ;). And, people, thank God I keep a blog – I have a concrete record of the conversation that transpired a month ago. I know she asked me for a steel gray, triangular, leafy shawl, and I know she asked me to never speak of the project again. And now I have a record of tonight’s conversation, too :).

And now, to scheme… a light blue triangular or square shawl for my grandma…

28 thoughts on “Verdict: NOT stupid!

  1. may

    You must be so happy ;)

    And your family really is the cutest. My dad always tells me to knit ‘whatever I like’ for him, and then complain about the color.

  2. Sheila

    Great Job. The gift is in the giving. I don’t know who is happiest – you or your Mom! Now to get to work on a blue one. Will be awaiting the display of patterns. Will you be getting the same kind of yarn? It really does look lovely!

  3. Purly Whites

    Yay! Not retarded. And is is slightly amusing to know I’m not the only one having these types of conversations with the parents.

    I’m excited that you get to knit another shawl! It will be interesting to see what you come up with.

  4. Monica

    You guys are so cute and sweet, it tickles me. I’m glad she loved it and it was just the right size after all. Now comes the fun of Grandma’s shawl!

  5. Kim

    Heck.. even *I* knew that she asked for exactly that.. specifically.. that’s why it was so great when she got it.. that’s why she loved it.. because that’s what she wanted! (Well I’m also quite sure that you had alot to do with it.. moms love anything made by their kids.. just luckily for them we get better at making things as we get older..lol.)

    I am utterly shocked that you only spent about 30 dollars on that.. even with the custom dying!!! Was that a “friend” discount or is that the price your friend will charge everyone? That is a spectacular deal!! Now I want to make one….. hmm.. yes indeed.. But I’ll wait till you reveal your friends mysterious identity : )

  6. diana

    I love your family conversation transcriptions! Too funny! I’m looking forward to seeing what shawl pattern you pick for Grandma.

  7. Christy

    I’m glad I’m not the only one with relatives with selective memory.

    When my mom and mother-in-law were planning our bridal shower a few years ago, my partner’s mom asked her for a guest list, addresses, and dates. She asked for help picking something to wear. The day of the event, she asked us if we were surprised. I could have died.

    I’m glad the shawl was such a hit. I love that they described the function of the shawl in the same words.

  8. yahaira

    That is so cute that she had a sparkle in her eye! I’m so glad she loved it, and I told you grandma would want one! Now what pattern will you choose for her?

  9. Pumpkinmama

    Glad Mom likes it – of course she does. What a funny bunch of family you got going there – “Oh my, what a surprise – you knit a SHAWL, for ME???” Cracks me up. Sounds like Grandma will be just as surprised about hers when it arrives.

  10. gail

    you are one sweet daughter–and how could you not be with such a sweet mother and grandmother??!! My mother keeps saving the things I make “for good.” Or, for when she has something to “go with it.” And, she won’t tell me what she would wear and what she would like. Maybe, I could put her intouch with your mom and grandma….

  11. ~Jo~

    I love your family conversations, thanks for sharing them. Makes me wish I had the same kind in my family, that way I’d know what people really want! ;)

  12. Stephanie

    WooHoo. I had no doubt that she’d love it. I can’t wait to see what you come up with for your grandma. Just so you know, I highly recommend Fiddlesticks Knitting’s patterns – great charts and Dorothy is super nice.

  13. blossom

    how hilarious your conversations are with your family! because of you, i have offered to knit my mum a shawl, she said she’ll like whatever i knit her, but you know, i told her that i will send her pictures and color swatches so she will really like what she’ll be getting.

  14. marie in texas

    my knit per request projects go that way too but also strange as it seems, my projects go exactly opposite as well. i found a fantastic hat in the back seat of my son’s car not long ago. i asked him where the heck he got such a fine hat and was astounded to learn that i made it myself, so now i am making a scarf to match. !!! oh for a digi cam….

    by the way…it has all those holes but it’s still warm…lol…

  15. Karma

    Hee hee hee. I love how you give transcripts of your phone conversations. So cute. And how your grandma said your mom had a sparkle in her eye, more than once… it must be true! But of course your mom loves it, it’s an elegant and beautiful shawl.

  16. B.

    Does your family know that you are secretly recording their phone conversations?

    You are a great advertisement for your friend’s yarn business. When she goes public she will be swamped with orders.

  17. Chelle

    How sweet! I’m not at all surprised your Mom loved her gift. You seem like you have a really loving family. Your conversation with your dad about the scarf was sweet too. I can’t imagine how you knit that beautiful shawl in 4 days. Amazing. Chelle

  18. Rebecca

    The shawl is beautiful! Isn’t it the best, when you create something for a loved one and they truly adore it?!

  19. Marie Richardson

    I just recently started reading your blog, and I’m enjoying it a lot!

    Your grandma sounds a lot like my grandma. She was so unwilling to ask for anything that she would say things like “it’s cold in here” if she wanted you to build a fire in the fireplace, or “this food needs some salt” if she wanted you to pass the salt at the dinner table. It’s funny to write about it now, but it was exhausting to deal with on a regular basis!

  20. Jackie

    I linked your conversation to my mom – we have been having the same conversation about a shawl, but ours goes more like this: “Anything you choose will be fine!” UGH!!

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