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October 23, 2012

A Different Kind of Anniversary

Yesterday was a very special day: my parents’ fortieth anniversary. It was also a much less important, almost ridiculous anniversary: the anniversary of my learning to knit.

 

If you’ve read for any length of time (or you’ve been to our home and sat in a certain chair), you know that I have developed something that, at times, borders on obsession. I love to knit. I love the preparation before a project begins—choosing the pattern, envisioning modifications, shopping for yarn. I love finishing a project, even when it seems to take forever—the sewing, weaving in ends, soaking and drying a garment to look smooth and polished.

 

I’ve always loved to make things with string, like friendship bracelets and hemp necklaces, back in the day. I’m not surprised that I love knitting so much. I am surprised by how much I’ve created over the past 365 days. I’m on my third adult sweater (with two baby sweaters thrown in, too). I’ve knit something like ten earwarmer headbands, an elephant, a car, a bear, half a blanket, at least five hats, a couple of golf club covers, three scarves . . .

 

Part of my being so prolific is that knitting was therapeutic for me after we lost Ethan. When I couldn’t figure out what to do with my day or how to spend my time, when I wanted to sleep at the wrong time of day and couldn’t rest when everyone else was, there was one thing I could do. It was productive, creative, and usually for someone else. Some gifts were for holidays, others were just “thinking of you.”

 

For me, the “thinking of you” knitting is the very best kind. When I knit for someone else, he or she is on my mind at every step of the process. Sometimes I am explicitly praying for them as I knit. More often than not, I am simply thinking about them, appreciating what they add to my life, hoping that a long piece of yarn twisted in on itself over and over again will communicate my love and gratitude tangibly.

 

I joked the other day that my knitting makes me kind of an old lady. The truth is, knitting really is a joy that is likely to last me the rest of my days. There is always something new to learn. There is always a new challenge to be had. It is intellectual, creative, physical, and for me, spiritual and emotional.

 

It is a very happy knitting anniversary indeed. And may there be many more.

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