Insert Left Needle
STRING, a place for stringing together thoughts about…string
Last year I attended six funerals. Two of them were family members. People I care about have battled or continue to face brain tumor, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Lyme disease, viral pneumonia, financial trouble, job loss. I, for one, could use a break from the life lessons we’re supposed to be learning.
What does this have to do with knit and purl, needles and yarn? I don’t cry over knitting. I admit to letting loose with h-e-double-hockey-sticks when purl-two-through-the-back-loop seems like advanced yoga. I’ve stooped to muttering f#@% at K1, SL M, YO, [K1, YO, K2, SL 1 KWISE, K2TOG, PSSO, K2, YO] 29 times, insert left needle you-know-where.
But I don’t cry over knitting.
So what if the afghan I knitted has holes—the unintentional kind—or sloppy selvedges? That afghan will warm a friend shivering with a fever’s chills. Big whoop that my cable scarf flares because I misjudged the number of increases to thwart such tragedy. And did I mention a wet splice that took the sheen off my wool-silk blend? I adore contrasting texture, don’t you?
I know what you’re thinking, that I don’t care about accuracy of technique and beauty in knitting. Not true. I admire crisp stitch definition and invisible increases as much as the next person. It’s just that perfection isn’t the point for me. It’s more that knitting is my saving.
When my eyes are puffy slits and my nose is clogged and I’ve run out of tears after visiting my favorite aunt on her 17th day in intensive care, I take up my needles and take solace in meditation more soothing than any chant or mantra: yarn back, knit, yarn forward, purl.
Focus on the stitch. Knit knit knit, purl purl purl, as long as it takes my heart to ease and my fingers to make something snuggly and pretty for when she regains consciousness.
Should I pass over to that Big Cashmere Sweater in the Sky where tears don’t exist, I hope to find a pair of Addi’s (size five, please) and a pile of shimmery silk. Somebody up there might want a set of lacy wings. Forgive me if I miss a yarn-over or two or twelve.