A little Lovie magic

The Lovey-Dovey Edition Logo

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, love is all around us. It’s a perfect time for a new Collectively Creative: The Lovey-Dovey Edition.

Meet Lovie.

lovie

When our twins were old enough to reach out from the stroller to grab random items from store aisles, we took them to the stuffed toy section at Babies R Us to see if they would choose their security object (so they could ease up on the binkies). Our son C was not terribly enamored of any of them because he was already quite fond of his blanket, but our daughter E reached right out and grabbed this pink puppy and cuddled it up to her face. Lovie came home with us that day.

Because this was not our first rodeo at Parenthood Ranch, we also brought home a couple of copycat Lovies — you know, just in case one got lost or left behind or shredded in the washer. We’d had that kind of Knuffle Bunny scenario happen with our oldest years before, and we are nothing if not teachable. We’d learned to rotate them in and out of play so that they would wear evenly. You can’t pass off a suddenly puffy, fluffy puppy when the other one’s stuffing had been mashed down by hours and hours of hugging.

But a funny thing happened. Before E started preschool, she noticed the differences anyway. We weren’t fooling her at all. I’ll never forget the day she toddled up to me and said, “Where’s Lovie’s sister?”

“Who?” I stalled. “You mean, your Lovie?”

“Lovie’s sister. This one is not Lovie —  it’s Lovie’s brother. I need Lovie’s sister,” she explained, patient as a saint.

Busted.

The trio of Lovies

The trio of Lovies

So I gave her all the Lovies and asked her to explain the differences. I still don’t know how she tells them apart, but she knows. She knows because they have been there for her through dark nights, scary thunder, boredom, long road trips, vacations, fights with her brothers, illness, and fever. They have attended “school” and tea parties in her room. They’ve watched TV with her. They’ve listened to her read stories and poems, and occasionally they’ve acted in her plays. She doesn’t need them as security objects anymore, but, as E says, it’s nice to know they’re still around, somewhere under the bed or in her closet. You know, just in case.

When they were little, I watched my children take such comfort in their particular lovies that I remember thinking how amazing it was that a stuffed toy or a blanket could help them garner their courage or soothe them. It seemed like magic.

Around this time, I took up knitting and one of the first projects I finished was a baby blanket for our godson. It became his special blanket — so much so that his mother asked me to make him a second one. And I became hooked not only on knitting, but knitting something special for other people. I wanted to wrap everyone who needed a little extra love in some hand knit item, so they could find the magic too.

For me, there’s something satisfying and almost mystical about making a blanket or scarf or hat for someone you don’t even know. Every stitch I knit, every color choice I ponder, I’m thinking about who might receive it. I want them to be able to feel how much love I’m pouring into that project just by holding it.

I know I’ve spoken about charity crafting before, but I wanted to highlight a couple organizations that are close to my heart:

1.  Project Linus. I’m particularly fond of this organization because their mission is to give handmade blankets to kids in hospitals and shelters around the country. I dare you to read about how they got started and not cry.

2. Red Scarf Project. Years ago, I read about this initiative on Now Norma’s blog. She was asking for folks to send in their beautifully handknit scarves for the people who had recently aged out of the foster care system and were attending college — out there all on their own. To participate, you can visit the Foster Care to Success web site for details.

One of my Red Scarves, knit in 2x2 rib in a cherry red cashmere blend. So soft!

One of my Red Scarves, knit in 2×2 rib in a cherry red cashmere blend. So soft!

If you’d like to get involved in charity crafting, there are loads of resources to help you. Books have been written about it (such as Craft Activism: People, Ideas, and Projects from the New Community of Handmade and How You Can Join In by Joan Tapper, Gale Zucker and Faythe Levine). There are websites and Facebook pages dedicated to it. On Ravelry, the amazing online community for yarn-a-holics, there are 738 groups about charity knitting/crocheting, as well as patterns, advice on technique, and support from other knitters.

To me, it’s a win-win. You make a lovie doing something that you love to do and give it to someone else who needs one. I can think of no better way to spread a little lovie magic this Valentine’s Day.

******************************

For more crafting/creative love, don’t forget to click over to read these wonderful posts from other Collectively Creative bloggers:

I Love You More Than… – (Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons)
Heart To Heart – (Pillows A-La-Mode)
Top Ten Romantic Movies of All Time - (The Thinking Closet)
DIY Heart T-Shirt - (NorthStory)
[DIY] 12 Pre-Planned Date Cards - (Inspire and Indulge)
The Love Letters - (Mrs. And The Misc.)
Valentine’s Day Bon Bon’s - (Happy Little Kiwi)
Lovey Dovey School Lunch Ideas - (Time With Thea)
Loving These Products - (Neaten Your Nest)
Kniting Hearts - (Gentle Stitches)
Sending hugs - (Cul de Sac)
Give a Fortune of Love - (Green Door Hospitality)
Will You Be My Valentine? - (A Ponytail Kind Of Day)
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About thethingaboutjoan

Mom of three who knits a little, bakes a lot, crafts a bit and blogs about it all.
This entry was posted in Crafts, Family, Knitting and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to A little Lovie magic

  1. What a sweet post from beginning to end!!!

  2. What a beautiful post, Joan. Thank you, thank you!

  3. I love your story about the Lovies! Thank you so much for sharing it, and sharing the charities!
    Kenley

    • Thanks, Kenley! I think it’s funny that they’re named Lovie, Lovie’s Sister and Lovie’s Brother. Reminds me of George Forman and how he named his kids George Jr, George III, George IV, etc.

  4. That is so sweet! That is truly amazing that she knew the difference! My daughter just brought her Lovie (his name is actually Chippy) that she’s had since she was 6 months old to school for sharing time. She even wrote a whole story about him. Those things are so important to kids!

    • It’s funny — I remember my old blanket. I saw it while I was visiting my folks’ house last year and my first feeling was a happy relief. I was so glad it was still around. It’s really amazing how we bond to things in childhood, isn’t it?

  5. She is so cute, she knew all this time about the Lovies, too cute! love this post

  6. Leah says:

    I loved reading your Lovie post. As I was reading, I was thinking to myself – buying multiple Lovie’s is brilliant and I need to remember that when I’m a mom. Then when I continued reading and saw that your daughter could tell the difference, my jaw dropped haha. Kids are so much more observant and clever than we give them credit for! :)

    • I really, really thought I had it down with buying multiple Lovies, but yeah, kids KNOW! I would still recommend it to new moms: 1) because I think she bonded with all three to different degrees and 2) because sometimes it’s just too hard to pry that Lovie away for a little spin in the washer (like when she was teething, poor thing).

      I still can’t figure out which one is which –and she even explained it to me for this post!

      • I’m not a Mom yet, but I’m definitely going to remember this future Lovies in our family! And Leah is right – - kids are smarter than we give them credit for sometimes! They really do notice details, and I think their senses are working on overdrive, just taking everything in (my niece always hears airplanes before any of us do). Great post!

      • I think you and Leah really hit it on the head — kids do notice way more than we give them credit for, even at an early age. Especially something as important to them as their lovies!

  7. Northern Narratives says:

    Another resource for charity knitting is just to stop into your local knitting store and ask if they are collecting any items for the community. I knit mittens for school children who need them :)

    • I remembered that you knit mittens! That’s a great idea to see if your local yarn store is hosting any charity knit-a-longs or collecting items. I seem to remember that one LYS in my area would even give you a discount on the yarn if it was for an item to be donated.

      Don’t you love that feeling of making mittens for the kids? I wish I could describe how happy it makes me. I’ll bet there are a lot of school children who are so happy with their new mittens!

  8. Susan Bahr says:

    I loved this post – made me chuckle as I glanced in my closet and located the two blankies that were my youngest. Yup, we, too, were “smart” parents and always kept a spare.
    What’s also wonderful is how my youngest had a favorite stuffed animal – a little dog she called “lovey pup.”
    Sweet writing – and thanks for sharing about your knitting projects. What a great way to share your talent!

    • Thanks, Sue! Isn’t it funny how you think you’ve got it all figured out and the kids can see right through it. It left me a little speechless that she knew that there were three of them and a little deflated when I realized that she was humoring me when I switched them out. :)

      I also think it’s funny how they choose their own lovies. For my younger son, it was all about a tattered receiving blanket that is now threadbare and lives in his closet. I would have preferred a more “hearty” blanket that could have withstood the washer a little more, but it wasn’t up to me. The idea that I’m not the one who gets to choose what makes them happy is not an easy lesson for me to learn, but I know that’s the way it goes. Wish it were up to me sometimes, though — know what I mean? :)

      • Susan Bahr says:

        I know that – isn’t how early they know their own minds! I love that part about your daughter knowing which lovey is which. Too cute! My daughter found another “lovey pup” a few years after her’s a gone from white to gray – we bought it, whereas she promptly named it “snowball” and never looked back. I love your sweet, family stories, Joan. They always make a great read.

  9. So when she grows up and has triplets…I am totally kidding. My daughter has a purple stuffed elephant that we didn’t buy an extra of and let me tell you, God help me if it disappears. They know when it’s not the real thing. I do know. I am convinced they also speak to other in babbles when they are babies.

    • Man, I hope the number of Lovies doesn’t equal the number of babies per pregnancy. She’ll kill me.

      You’re right — I know for a fact that babies’ babbling is really a secret language about how to get what they want. When my twins were babies, their cribs were in the same room. I’d hear my daughter quietly babble, then my son babble back to her (also quietly), and then a few seconds later, he’d scream. It happened so often that I swear she was telling him “Dude, get the Mom. I’m hungry.”

  10. Katie B says:

    so sweet. I never got my son a lovey to replace a pacifier because he refused to use one. It’s impossible to lose a thumb. I have something special for you for your knitting projects, give me a call.

  11. The lovies are so sweet. The kids are so smart! Thanks for sharing the love and reminding about the charities.

  12. What a great post Joan. Love the Lovies!! Hope you don’t mind if I reblog for all the knitters in my family.

  13. Reblogged this on Renee's Revelings and commented:
    A great, loving story about all the little lovies in the world.

  14. As always a brilliant blog that was such a delight to read. Knuffle Bunny is one of my favourite children’s books. I think smell of the Lovie has a big thing to do with it. My younger daughter could always immediately tell that I had washed her teddy. I would have to sneak it in the machine because she would never let me wash it even though it was pretty foul smelling after a lot of cuddling and sucking on it. Comfort objects and children are amazing relationships. ~Thea

    • Aw, Thea, thank you so much for your kind words. Oh, the smell of the Lovies! I think you’re right — my kids hated having their lovies washed and seemed to try to get them back to the same smelly state as quickly as possible. And I remember thanking my lucky stars that E picked out a stuffed animal that could be tossed in the wash. One stuffed toy she got as a gift had a tag that indicated it couldn’t be submerged in water — it had to be “surface-cleaned.” I’m still glad that one never got elevated to lovie status.

  15. Thank you for visiting, liking and following my blog! :)

  16. This is a beautiful post! I laughed out loud about “Lovie’s brother and sister”. Kids are incredibly perceptive, aren’t they? :) My daughter has her pink bunny, and I wish I had thought to rotate them from the beginning…now she won’t accept the fluffy new one because she loves the matted down one just like you said!

  17. What a great story, I love the Lovies. I love your scarf charity, and if I ever master crochet using a real hook I would love to participate.

    • Aw thanks! I guess I never really thought about what happens to kids when they age out of the foster care system — but a lot are just out of their own, trying to make it in college. That really hit me hard because I don’t know what I’d have done if I didn’t have parents to call (still don’t, actually). Good luck with your crocheting!

  18. I love this post! And I understand needing multiple ‘lovies’. After our son’s Lion ‘Dario’ (as in Hi Ho the Dario!) got eaten by our dog, we had to RUSH to the store to get another one. Thanks for the sharing your story, creativity and the ways you give back.
    ~Erin

    • Thanks, Erin! Isn’t that the most horrible feeling — to realize that The Lovie is lost? I think they should sell them in packs — or maybe if you can prove that this toy is The Lovie, the manufacturer could give you a two-for-one deal.

      Love that name “Dario.” Adorable!

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