Hope Chest

Bought in TK Maxx for €9.99

After much mulling over of our choices, the Teen and I settled on this storage box to act as our Hope Chest.

It’s highly likely that more will follow. There are some pretty and funky and pretty funky options to choose from.

The Teen made a beeline for an actual chest but the price tag was prohibitive to my student budget.

She totally had the right idea though and when I can (adds to list of “When I Graduate” things to do) I’ll buy an actual wooden chest.

The Teen was thrilled, and kind of shocked, that I spent an hour in TK Maxx without pulling out my knitting to stave off boredom. Though, if anyone had been privvy to our saunter through the clothing aisles they would have seen my vacant stare and “anywhere but clothes shopping” posture.

So, now we have a Hope Chest in which to store baby items. 🙂

FYI: The history of the Hope Chest refers to it as being a collection of items created: –

“Using her own needlework skills to construct a trousseau and stock her glory-box “was for the working girl the equivalent of planning and saving for marriage on the part of the provident and ambitious young man.”[1] The collection of a trousseau was a common coming-of-age rite until approximately the 1950s; it was typically a step on the road to marriage between courting a man and engagement.”

History notwithstanding my intention is not to launch my Teen into marriage and babies.

My idea is to create a collection of useful items for my Teen to use in her increasingly independent young adulthood, to acknowledge that my baby isn’t a baby anymore and to have a store of baby items for friends who are adding to their families.

In the further future, I’m hoping that baby items gifted to friends over the next few years may find their way back to the Hope Chest.  So, if the Teen, as a Twentysomething or Thirtysomething or Fortysomething, decides to foster/adopt/create younglings of her own, that these items can wrap those children in love and yarny goodness.

The Hope Chest has a social history of its own and the nerd in me likes the idea of ‘my’ Hope Chest helping to bring together the strands of social history created by my loved ones. Wouldn’t it be lovely, in 30 years time, to have a collection of photos showing the same garment being worn by different babies from different families and possibly different generations? 🙂

The Ops Management nerd in me loves the idea of tracking the ‘lifecycle’ of the knitted items I create.

I love gifting items to people. It’s one of the wonderful benefits of being a crafter. Tangible tokens of my appreciation and affection that persist regardless of busy schedules and changing lives. These tokens are gifted without strings (though I prefer if they are used rather than placed on a hallowed shelf never to be touched). It would be lovely, however, to glimpse these items in use. My crafter giftees do this via social media. I can see in their instagrams or via blog posts that these items are being used, sometimes by many individuals.

It’s delightful to see.

Things like blankets continue to be used, albeit seasonally.

What happens to the baby gifts though, when they cease to fit their recipient?

Are they consigned to an attic for posterity?

Kept aside for a future sibling or addition in the extended family tree or social circle?

Given away to a charity store?

Yes, I’m utterly curious.

Hmmm, I’m thinking that I could gift a ‘parchment’ with baby items, with details of the yarn and pattern used, indicating that it was gifted by me to Baby *Name* and with space so that future recipients could be noted.

Wouldn’t it be lovely, in several generations time, for the umpteenth recipient of a baby item to know, roughly, how far that item has travelled from its original place of gifting?

What do you think?

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