I love to knit, for many of the same reasons that I love to vacuum. There's something extremely satisfying about seeing progress. As a knitting project comes to fruition, it is such a fulfilling feeling for me. It's also a nice brain vacation. When I'm knitting I am almost in a meditative state. For that time, however long or short, I am quiet. For a dramatic, quirky, busy minded lady like myself, these moments are treasured. After our daughter died of SIDS, knitting helped me retain what was left of my sanity. With each stitch, I saw that life continued. I was continuing to create in through this significant loss. If it was all I could do, then it was enough. But I've grown leaps and bounds since those sorrow-filled days, so this week, I decided to stretch my knitting abilities.
I deliberately chose a pattern for a baby, because babies are small. This means knitting projects for babies are small. I should also mention that while I love the progress of knitting, I need the end result to come quickly, as in a few days. I don't know that I am the type of person who could knit a plus sized adult sweater. I think the suspense would drive me crazy. So, baby clothes are small, and take little time and money (relatively). I found an easy pattern online (I love the internet! It's so easy to find things for free) for a baby girl jumper, and got going with my needles. (Here is the pattern for those of you who would like to follow along).
Pardon the profundity here, but this is my truth: Knitting is like life. We are given a whole mess of circumstances and it is ours to tend to the pattern, and modify according to our needs as we weave and stitch what becomes our story. Pay special attention to the part where we modify according to our needs.
I printed out the pattern. I read the pattern very thoroughly to be sure that I knew all the steps, and that I could actually perform them. I memorized the pattern so as to be prepared for whatever I may encounter during the construction of my creation. I was ready. I took this journey very seriously. As I began, I started to realize that certain parts of the pattern weren't working for me. I didn't love the way it looked, or maybe I wasn't sure the sizing was just right, or I just didn't feel good about my ability to execute the plan. So I tweaked. I thought hard and I tweaked. I made up different arrangements, and added and subtracted as needed, took a couple of short cuts, learned from some mistakes, applied some other skills I've learned from other projects, and in the end, I am pretty darn proud of the result. It is not perfect by any means, but I probably see the flaws more clearly than the loving eyes of those who will receive the gift of my work.
A private note to my babymamas who are expecting girls: Spoiler alert - you will each be receiving one of these jumpers. The good news is, now you know how much each stitch means. You can be confident that your little girl will be cloaked in the trial and error of a woman who has made a lot of mistakes, and applied skills I've learned from many areas of my life. I hope I can be a good example for those little promises of our future.
Okay, so the finishing touches haven't been added quite yet, but this will give you an idea of what I am so proud of:
Would I call myself a knitter? Not really. Not yet. I'm sort of a three trick pony in the knitting department. The point is, maybe I strayed from the pattern a little (a lot), and maybe I didn't do it exactly like an experienced knitter would, but a learned a whole darn lot from it... and that's beautiful... to me.
Next week, in celebration of my seventh wedding anniversary, I am going to attempt to construct a three-tiered wedding cake, and then serve it to people I care about.