I have an absolute love for yarn. I get lost in the spun cottons and wools. The textures take a hold of me and I sink into them like they are quick sand.
I know it may sound crazy but I could go on for days about how healing it is for me to have spun cotton run through my fingers and tie knots. I can feel the patterns, I understand that ever step of the way I am creating something of warmth and safety for those moments when life or weather make things harsh.
I do not know if the ones I love will ever fully understand what it means to me when I create something for them. I don’t know if the blankets for couches or babies will ever come out of closets. I don’t know if the scarves or hats will be used to keep them warm. I don’t know if the house shoes and hot pads, dish cloths or scribes will fall apart when used so they end up in the trash.
What I do know is every yarn over, every pull through and every repeat, I deposit just a little bit more of myself into what I am creating. When I tie off the last stitch and weave the tail in securely I feel joy for what I have been working on as it is now complete, but a little bit of sadness because I will miss this piece of work.
All the knots and turns, all the front post stitches and back post stitches have added up to something beautiful and I sit back to admire it hoping that when it finds its way into the hands of its intended owner it will bring joy and they will love it. They will know that with each knot I loved them, that with each knot I sent them all my energy and prayers.
This week I pulled out my blanket. I have been working on her for just over a year. She is magnificent and full of every emotion that has run through me during this season of my life. She is a plum purple. She is soft and full of texture. Too many different patterns to count, row after row of different stitches that add up to my soul being laid out in front of me.
I started making her right after my mom left this world. I needed to focus in on what is beautiful and put myself into something so intricate that focus was absolutely necessary. I got 42 rows in and 6 or 7 skeins of yarn and had to put my blanket in a basket. Tying these knots was therapeutic but also too much at times. You can’t rush the grieving, you can’t tell it to move any faster and sometimes, just when you think it is moving on, it comes back and bites you right in the ass. There was no way around it, I couldn’t lock it up or visit it only when I had the time.
I moved on to many other projects. I made 11 other blankets, 3 baby blankets and 8 large throws. I made a skeleton scarf, hats and bookmarks. I began working on patches to show patterns to my class I am teaching so they can see and feel the texture of each knot and how when worked they create different looks. I wanted to create beautiful things for my people, I wanted them to feel the safety and warmth of my love.
Sometimes though I felt my blanket calling to me, telling me it’s safe to keep creating her. I needed to put my trust in my ability and in my hands to let the yarn flow through my fingers and create for myself again.
So, yesterday I pulled her out of the basket and began to work my hook through the designated spaces and I watched the diamond shapes begin to form. I slowed down my breathing and watched the yarn slide over and around my fingers and slowly become something beautiful. It was safe and lovely. It felt warm but not heavy and it let me see that just like my blanket I am a work in progress. My days will add up and my years will collect and if I pay attention I will see the pattern of my life become something breath taking.
This week my family received something beautiful, a new row, a new pattern is being introduced. It’s kinda scary and will take adjustments on how we as a large family will go about our lives, but the warmth and joy it is bringing with it, the possibilities and hope, are worth every pause to re-read the pattern. There may be stitches made that have to be undone and reworked. There may be moments of pause because change inevitably brings fears but I can see beauty and I can feel hope and I know it’s going to be fantastic.
Life can get really hard, sometimes I lose focus and I mess it up. Other times I am too close to it and I over think it, but as I work the yarn that is creating my life, as I tie the knots into place I feel safe because the pattern maker knows what he is doing. Not only did he write this pattern, he is the spinner of the yarn and molder of the hook. He is the ink that spells it all out and he is intertwined into every knot.
May you find safety in your pattern and peace in the changes of your life.