It's Done, It's Done!
Remember that crocheted table cloth I have been repairing for years? It is finally done, and I am both relieved and proud of the job I have done.
In 2008, my son was finishing law school on the other coast, and one classmate had just closed up his mother's house after her death. He asked my son if he could repair a torn and incomplete crocheted table cloth which he had found that she had apparently never finished but used and ripped here and there. My son explained that he was not up to the task and told me about it.
But there was no pattern and no left over thread to finish it. I posted the picture he sent here, and someone posted the pattern for me. So at that I told my son I would take on the project. I warned the young man that it would not happen fast since I was into a lot of babies coming and they would take priority. It would be more than a year to do it.
So it arrived, and it was a mess. She had placed her motifs in a misshapen circle and his table was a rectangle. So I had to mend tears, pull out her impossibly small stitches in the last row of motifs to reshape it, and then I had to crochet in another shade of thread the parts of the cloth that would become the skirt down the sides of his table since there were not enough of her motifs.
I put it away so many times, scared to touch her work but knowing I would have to. First I crocheted the motifs to go around the sides of the rectangle, and ran out of thread. When I ordered more, it had been discontinued. When I opened the sack that those 70 motifs were stored in, I saw the problem--they had discolored to a very dark ivory. Nevertheless, I had some white left over from a cloth I had crocheted, and started over with that.
After years' delays, I finally started moving her motifs; her stitches were so fine that I had great difficulty finding where she had made the last stitch on them in order to unravel them enough to move them. Finally two months ago, I got that all done and had enough to make the top of the table cloth entirely his mother's work in a light cream.
Then I started attaching the white, new motifs to make the sides. Next, I started repairing the torn spots and spliced in repairs using the thread I could unravel from her extra motifs. Finally, my sister spotted one more tear. Because it was in the base row of the motif, I feared any repair would not be sturdy enough to last, and by then I knew the pattern so well that I decided to rip out that motif and drop another one of hers into the spot and splice it in. I did, and it looks great.
I will mail it off today along with a trio of her motifs that I had framed for this son I have never met. He can hang that on his wall somewhere as a remembrance of his mom.
The discolored, ivory motifs I have crocheted into a cloth for my son's coffee table in his apartment. (It is the only table he has to serve guests or himself.) It will be part of his birthday present in May along with a two-egg cup, an egg top cracker, and little porcelain spoons.
I am happy and relieved! It looks great. Thank you to whoever it was that found the original pattern for me.