Gratitude Day 17: Knitting
|Snow Angel Knitted Lace Shawl with bead embellishment|
I moved to Utah after graduate school and continued to knit and crochet, though my crocheting was far superior to my knitting. When I moved back to Tennessee I added tatting to the mix. I love tatting but let's face it, it takes forever to tat anything big enough to use, let alone wear. I needed something else so I started knitting again. After a few too many fun fur scarves and a couple of fuzzy sweaters I decided I needed to find a real yarn store and knit something better. That's when I saw my first fine knitted lace scarf and fell in love. I bought some fuzzy mohair yarn, found a free pattern online, and dove in. I still have and still wear that lace scarf, but mostly I use it as an example of what not to do when I teach beginning lace knitting classes.
I knit countless fine lace shawls, scarves, and doilies during the long years while I was working on my PhD and was so ill with fibromyalgia. When I couldn't do anything else, I could sit in bed and knit. Knitting was soothing to my frazzled soul and the finished results were pretty! Buying fine quality lace yarn to knit big shawls was affordable on my limited resources, but buying yarn to knit sweaters wasn't. Before long I was addicted to lace. I joined knitalong groups online and knit lace from "mystery" patterns where you had no idea what the finished product would look like when you started. I knit lace with other knitters during the Olympic Games, March Madness, and the Tour de France. I gained a reputation locally for being the "lace queen." It's been great fun. It's also been great therapy.
Back in July I started another lace shawl as a Tour de France knitalong project. I knew I probably wouldn't finish the shawl by the time the cyclists rode into Paris 3 weeks later, but I didn't care. I liked the design and I loved the yarn. that was all that mattered. Five months later, the Snow Angel Shawl is finally finished and wet-blocked. It's the most pitiful blocking job I think I've ever done on a shawl, but hey, it's going to look fine when I unpin it in the morning. This shawl represents five agonizing months of my life. I knit on it when I sat with my father through his hospitalizations.I knit on it when my mother was having knee surgery and when she lay dying in the ICU days later. This shawl is filled with memories and tears. But I'm grateful I have the talent, the skill, and the presence of mind to knit through yet another series of life challenges The shawl is beautiful. I will wear it with joy and know that it means much more than something pretty to wear. I'm grateful for the therapeutic effect knitting has on me. Knitting heals me, so I will knit on, and on, and on!