Knitting is a part of me. It brings me great joy, an activity I love with all my heart. I've been a life-long knitter since high school. But there have been periods of greater intensity than others. I would say that my knitting really increased after the death of my husband. We used to co-coach our sons' travel baseball and soccer teams. The boys were on the same teams together and I can remember seeing my little family all together out on the field, Daddy coaching second base, me in the dugout keeping score, A. pitching and E. catching. It was the happiest time for me as a mother, all of us involved in a sport we loved.
After my husband died, I stopped being a part of the coaching team and my sons were put on separate teams. A. had been playing up to be with his brother since he was four years old, but parents complained that he was taking a spot away from another child the age of E. So I became the baseball mom intent on letting my boys continue to play travel ball because it would have been what their Dad wanted. Two boys on two different travel teams, only one mom. I was the only single parent with even one child participating in travel ball. It really is a sport where two parents come in handy.
Tournaments can last all day and be two hours from home. There I was sitting alone in stands watching one of the boys (I'd trade off going to their games equally). With time on my hands and feeling alone and vulnerable I turned to bringing my knitting along. I always had something to do and keep me occupied. And it took away some of the discomfort of being a new widow and on my own. I started to knit more gifts. In fact, the thank you notes I sent out after my husband died were hand tied with leaves I had knitted. They were just beautiful as I recall and matched the design of the cards picturing leaves.
Now I feel almost naked when I don't have my knitting with me and I always have some kind of quick and simple project to grab as I go off on my day. Joining the knit club has resulted in me knitting even more - I am inspired by the creativity around me and have created one new scarf or cowl a week since joining the club at the start of the year.
When I started dating and had to come up with an online dating site profile I asked the boys if it was too nerdy or old-fashioned to put down knitting as a hobby. My sons told me I had to do it because it really is who I am. And so I did. And the men I've become involved with received blankets, scarves, felted slippers, kitchen items, rugs, hats, and even felted baskets as gifts. I have knitted gifts for my sons' girlfriends, my girlfriends. sister and her daughter. I even knit darling little purses for my brother's little girls.
Now I am knitting a scarf of bright colored flowers in the yarns pictured in this post. It is an Easter gift for me so I can wear something new to church without having to spend the money on a new outfit. Tonight at knit club I made the smaller flowers, which were unbelievably simple to create.
Knitting is my treasure, my escape, my opportunity to be creative and giving as well. The health benefits are as good as actually meditating. I can knit with my eyes closed and knit amazingly fast (as noted by the other knit club members) and I have to say that gives me a sense of pride. Watching t.v. is never a total wash out since I am always knitting something. There is also the sense of control and wonder of being able to create something out of basically nothing.
Here is to my love of knitting and the pure joy it gives me even in times of despair. I always joke that I hope my Heaven is being able to live in a combined knit/book store. But for now I have to remember that I hold the power in my own two hands to create works of love, creativity and art. And besides that a skill that makes me feel good and talented. And lifts my mood. If I ever get around to writing a book it WILL NOT be about grief but a knitting book complete with my own patterns. Although as my son suspects, there might be a widow heroine, or maybe not. Knitting and grief shouldn't always be tied together as they often are in fiction. Knitting should be tied with hope and happiness.