24 August, 2009

Anniversary Breadcloths

I started a tradition, and at some point I think it's going to get me into trouble.

My brother got married nine years ago, and for his first anniversary, I gave him and his wife a gift centered on the traditional material designated for first year anniversaries... paper. It was so easy. They were an upwardly mobile young couple living near D.C., so what better gift than tickets to some Kennedy Center event or another? (I don't even remember what the event was now; perhaps if they are reading, they could comment below.) The gift was well-received, mostly because my brother, who is a traditionalist at heart, really got into the idea that each year I would give them a gift centered on these traditional materials. (Until I pointed out that once you hit year 15, there are no materials designated until year 20; the chart jumps to every five years, and he would only be getting a gift every five years. But I digress.)

It's not been too difficult to figure out a gift for them. So far, they've received the tickets, cotton sheets, leather passport wallets, a basket of goodies made with fruit (jams, preserves, chutneys, salsas), a hanging basket made of iron, copper salt and pepper grinders, and an olive oil dipping bowl that I commissioned my friend Linda to make. My apologies for not being able to remember what I gave for year five—wood. Perhaps they can chime in again here.

This year was year nine. Kudos to them for being married for nine years and producing the three Small Children and taking that pressure off of me. At the beginning of the summer, I went to my list of traditional materials, and...



Willow, really?

What the hell do you give someone that's made out of willow?

After racking my brain for a couple of months, I decided it came down to two possibilities: a tree or a basket. And since a willow tree would take up more space than the total area of their Capitol Hill backyard, I wisely decided that that would probably not be a good idea. So, I went with the basket.

What type of basket to get? They are really not basket types of people. I don't think they are anti-basket, but I just haven't seen very many around their house. My brother already complains that they have too much stuff that they don't have room for (which admittedly begs the question as to why he would want another gift from me, but you have to know my brother), so the basket would most definitely need to be utilitarian rather than decorative.

I finally came up with a bread basket. The whole family enjoys a good loaf of crusty bread. I have even heard Small Child 1 ask if she can pick out a loaf of crusty bread in the grocery store. No low-carb family here. And every time I have gone to their house, the crusty bread has been served on a dinner plate or in a bowl. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I thought it would be nice for them to have a basket. But of course, I couldn't just give them the basket. Well, I could, but a basket just begs to be filled. So, as I come to the end of this post, you finally get a picture...

Tahki Cotton Classic in Dark Celery

Size 3, 3.25 mm

Ripple and Lace Leaf Linen Basket Liners by Amy King
The Knitter's Book of Yarn by Clara Parkes


SusanB-knits said...

What a wonderful idea! I have been doing counted thread (some cross stitch) bread cloths but knitted ones sound great! I must go look for this book. Your brother is lucky to have a wonderful and thoughtful sister.

rebecca.hunt said...

Ah, you've set them up well then for their 12th anniversary, too: linen. You could do the same thing using Louet's linen yarn. Or if you are feeling especially crazy, er, generous, a table runner to go with it. (Rebecca, that knitting inlaw to Carol)