I’m satisfied today. I spent most of yesterday’s holiday putting together a pattern for a sweater. In contrast to the black wool fabric, I’ve had this yarn for only two and a half years. For the last four months, I’ve been knitting swatches to see what combinations of stitches might look good together.
At this point, I’ve probably knit and torn out the equivalent of a sweater and a half. Knitting from the yarn rather than a pattern is challenging. This yarn knits up stiffly and has a lot of bas-relief potential. But I’m quite stubborn in my intent to stick to a certain theme and make a unique sweater. It’s come at last to a place where I’ll be able to relax and start knitting the real thing.
If it doesn’t fit in the end, I’ll try again. Isn’t this a waste of time? you may ask. I’ll have to admit I just don’t care.
For me the process is a valuable meditation. And grounding, as my hopes and worries become metaphors in tangible form. Sometimes the project comes together and sometimes life does. I end up with renewed energy (or patience) for work and relationships. Problem-solving through the proxy of yarn or fabric, perhaps.
More than anything, the projects are imbued with the memories of a specific time. Nothing as bad as those of Madam LeFarge’s as she knit her way through the French Revolution. But certainly markers. The last summer on my parent’s farm, I knit my first and favourite bulky sweater while tanning in a two-piece bathing suit. The sweater held the ripeness of a garden and welcome shade of huge maples. As my grandmother died of cancer, I designed and sewed my future sister-in-law’s wedding gown. The gown came to symbolize a generation passing and another one to come. My daughter’s graduation dress was a collaborative delight in layers of pink. She trusted me to make it and I learned the first steps in letting go. Clear, beautiful images with a tactile quality. I wouldn’t trade the time I spent.
Yesterday my friend’s second grandchild was born. This event will be in held in the final graph paper sketches and in the wave pattern cables that will remain part of the finished design. So many months to get this far.