For our eighth wedding anniversary in 2016, I liked the way the number 8 could be turned on its side to make an infinity symbol. I had the idea of making Rachel a bracelet featuring this motif, searching for different materials and testing my techniques. For the bracelet portion, I used leather lace, expanded on the theme by learning how to make an eight-stranded braid.
When I presented it to Rachel, the problems quickly became apparent. Those eight leather strands coupled with my zealous weaving had formed a thick cord that was far too extensive. On Rachel’s delicate wrist, the full bracelet wrapped around 3.5 times, creating a Wonder Woman-style vambrace hefty enough to stop bullets. We both knew immediately that this “jewelry piece” would not be seeing the light of day.
I thought I could fix it by making it shorter, holding that thought in my head as another project I would eventually get around to completing. I finally did, motivated by Rachel’s birthday and an acquisition of flat pliers for working the metal without marking it. I went to measure her wrist, where I was again confronted by the leathery python snake dwarfing the homemade infinity charm.
I had waited four years to confirm what I knew from the start: There was no fixing it. The techniques required to make something with the same features that was actually wearable with an outfit were far beyond my skill and available time. I had knit her an ugly sweater, and when it comes to items of style, the amount of love put into something is hollow if the output is irredeemable.