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Monday, December 17, 2007

THIS IS WHY I KNIT

You never can know how a gift will be received. 

You can never be sure the impact that you will have. 

When I create things I feel that they then become something all on their own. I put in my most honest effort, all of my available skills at the time, I am thoughtful of the person that I am creating for, and I always knit in a little piece of my heart. Then it gets tough, I have to send my creation out into the world. It has a job to do, and most of the time I won't be around to make sure it fits OK, holds together, is warm enough, is the right color or is generally loved. It's a little nerve fraying actually- if I am being honest. 

I knit because I love the act of knitting, love the yarn, love the community and most of all I knit because in each and every project that I knit I have THOUSANDS of opportunities (stitches) to think/pray/hope/laugh/cry/feel/ remember and love the person that I am knitting for. 
Even if I get frustrated or negative or angry during, or even AT my knitting there are hundreds of rows and thousands of stitches to turn everything around. There are always more opportunities to get it right, it is never too late to fix it. Even if you have to (get to) rip it out and start over.

It is never to late to show someone that you have love and time for them.

There is a lovely woman who was a powerful member of my extended family, The Mother of two dear friends, my big brother's OtherMother, a woman who cared for him when he was not home with us. She raised two super people, has a fantastic husband and BIG family, and a way around the kitchen that is not to be matched. Her name is Jean, she fed me on many occasions, and made me laugh on many more, she is the reason that I love French Onion Soup, maybe the reason that I like onions at all. 
She was kind and gracious to me even when I didn't deserve it.
She got cancer. She decided that a second battle with this disease and the drugs that they use to try to kill it would be too much. 

When my brother told me this, I will admit I didn't have any clue what to say, thank the heavens I knew what to knit. It had to be a Blanket, something so soft and cozy, warm as hell, they live in Maine after all, lightweight (so it wouldn't be a struggle to pull it over yourself even if you were feeling weak) and the colors natural and bright at the same time. 
I got myself some Inca Alpaca in three natural browns, took my first foray into cables and got a bright green for the border all to pay homage to Jean's Irish heritage. I knitted the thing immediately, and there it sat, just waiting for me to weave in the ends. I tell you I couldn't touch the thing to finish it, it made me sad. It waited patiently in my closet, and my brother kept updating me that the family was well and enjoying their time together. This fall Jean got sick. It wouldn't be long. I pulled Blankie out of the closet, wove in the ends, took a really bad picture and paid way too much to ship him to Maine in a "wicked hurry!". I didn't think, I just sent it.
Jean passed away this week and she will be missed. 
Her sister was kind enough to tell my big brother at the memorial that Blankie was indeed loved, he was with her until the very end. If I ever see Blankie again I will give him a pat and say "good job".





This is why I knit. 
Though I never saw her knit a stitch, Jean was a knitter- my niece has the sweater to prove it.

Surely she deserved a handknit that was made just for her.

3 comments:

Mandy said...

Thank you for sharing your touching story. Sorry your friend is gone.

Anonymous said...

A truly beautiful story.

Raph said...

Hannah, What a wonderful way you describe the internal aspects of knitting. You were able to tell a tragic story in a manner that reaches out and touches everyone's
heart in a special way.
I am so proud of you!
Love,
Raph

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