It's taken me four days to write this post. I've been so overwhelmed with joy, and relief, and gratefulness, that I've had trouble finding my words about it. I'll start with a picture, because it really says a lot:
These two wandering waifs, if they could talk, would tell me where they have been and what happened to their friends, and the story of the beautiful, magical moment when dear sweet Elif recognized and rescued them from the sweater pile at the thrift store.
Of course, they are keeping mum about their adventures, so I can only report the obvious: They are completely intact, unharmed, and Being Koi even still has her sample trunk tag still attached. Wedding Belle's sewn label bears the grease-pencil mark of having been inventoried at Goodwill, but no other scars are on her. Both will be getting a celebratory bath, but I think that's really more my need to cleanse the negative energy from the experience than actual dirt. Lady MacBeth would understand.
Here's an interesting sidebar: My niece Sarah, only 14 when I made the Wedding Belle, was its inspiration. Here's her self-portrait:
And yes, this is pretty much exactly what she looks like, including the wings. I have secretly hoped that she would one day wear it for her wedding, never telling her or her mother, because for one thing it's a little weird to outfit a 14-year-old for a wedding she may or may not ever have, and for another, that sort of thing is for a bride to decide, not her aunt. But inspiration is as inspiration does, and there you have it: I thought of Sarah, and the Wedding Belle was born.
The Wedding Belle was returned to me on Sarah's 16th birthday. Insert harp flourish here.
I would like to thank Elif, for locating and rescuing my two lost waifs. And KT for tweeting the update. And KayLynn, who must have lost half her Saturday fruitlessly searching three different Goodwills. And everybody else who wrote to tell me that they looked, and continue to look, and that they care, and continue to care. There is no end to the generosity of Knitters. All of you, Gentle Readers, are proof. My Sincerest Gratitude to you all, for loving me and being my friend. Especially to those who've yet to meet me.