Monday, July 16, 2012

Honoring a fallen knitter.

Buckle in, I'm going to get all sentimental about crafting.  And life and death.

One day last week I got to have a delightful day with my good friend Ann Marie.  It was filled with yoga and grilled cheese and knitting lessons and wine.  It was very nice.  Also, my lovely friend gave me three big bags of yarn from a home that she's helping to clean out after a death.

I love love love getting new yarn, like any knitter does.  But I really love getting hand-me-downs, too.  Of any kind.  I love old stuff.  Stuff with stories.  It's all mystery and legacy and it comes with an inherent sense of importance that new things don't have.  Maybe I anthropomorphize too much.  I spent a lot of time alone as a child.

One of my favorite things as a kid was getting down my mom's giant tin of stray buttons.  She kept it, I guess, in case she ever needed any buttons for a project she was sewing.  But the tin was so full of buttons of every size and variety that there's no way to imagine one person ever using them all.  I could spend an afternoon - easy - sorting, scrutinizing and caressing them.  What a nerd.  I know.  I know.

Anyway, I still have that kind of reverence for second hand craft scraps of all kinds.  I love them and horde them.

So, I couldn't wait to dump out the three bags and go through all my new yarn treasures.  Touching everything, sorting it, admiring it.

And then.  I came across two knitted projects among the skeins of yarn.  Two knitted panels, one in soft fuzzy black, and one in pink, both probably not even half finished.  And I stopped and thought about it.

This woman, this knitter, I don't know her.  I have no relationship to her or her family.  And yet, I felt sad, holding these half-finished projects....yearning to finish them for her, knowing that I couldn't because the secret to what these things were meant to be went with her.

But here's what I can do.  I can promise myself that I will make many beautiful things with this yarn.  I will make things that make me smile and - hopefully - make other people smile.  I will love this yarn and I will try to infuse love into everything that I make with it.

And I will hope that one day when someone inherits my yarn, they will make this same promise in my memory.

Oh!  And after I had those very solemn knitter's thoughts, I came across this booklet of knitting patterns from 1941 called Hand Knits by Beehive For Babies.  I mean, come on!  Right?  My heart is exploding.  I can't wait to crack this thing.

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