doglover, for what it’s worth, here’s my 2¢ too. I think that the idea of making your MIL an afghan to try to mend the relationship is a very kind idea, but I agree with a lot of the members here…you’ll put a lot of time and work into it, and if she doesn’t have the response you are hoping for, will you be disappointed? I knitted a hat for my stepniece’s new baby, and my sister-in-law and I don’t really have “warm and fuzzy” feelings for each other, but I did a very small project to let them know I care, and I did it without expecting even so much as a thank you or any recognition. Not a big project I know, but I think by letting the obligation of my own happiness depending on a big reaction go was very liberating to me.
Maybe you can decide what to do by asking yourself some things. Does you MIL knit, crochet, quilt, craft herself? Because if she does, then she will have at least a better appreciation for your efforts than a person who doesn’t do these things. Okay, so maybe you don’t make her an afghan, but maybe you can look to see what she is interested in or likes. Does she drink tea? Maybe she’d like a tea cozy. Does she play golf? Maybe you could make her some golf club covers? Is she a spiritual woman? If so, there is a possibility you can knit her something that she could still wrap around herself as she would an afghan, but it’s MUCH less labor intensive…you could knit her a prayer shawl. It can be as simple as a rectangular piece of knitted fabric with some fringe (or more elaborate, of course), and I think a simpler version can certainly be done in a month’s time or less. If you are a spiritual woman and don’t mind doing this following project, what it involves is praying for the recipient while you knit. This would accomplish two goals–the gift of course, but also it will help mend the relationship in an unforseen way. You can “dress” up the shawl with beads or even charms of things she has an interest in. I made a shawl for my sister with a little teacup (because she loves tea), a sparkly initial charm of the first letter of her first name, and a holy medal. For my mom, I attached a pin to her shawl with little grandchildren charms, and on both shawls, I knitted beads onto them. I started a shawl for my MIL, but haven’t finished it because I have a somewhat awkward relationship with my her (I need to finish it though; it would be a nice gesture to her, but it would be a good “therapy” for me!). We’re not hostile towards one another; I blame the “roadblock” in our relationship 100% on myself if I’d learn to just look past and ignore things I don’t agree with . Knitting something like this can be very healing; you’d be surprised. Anyway, if you go the shawl route, you might want to check out the website for helpful hints, patterns, etc. at http://www.shawlministry.com/. Good luck!