Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Knitting It All Together

Over the past few weeks I have been working on knitting a scarf. This sounds simple enough and, indeed, the pattern said that it was "easy." I cast on and then knitted the pattern -- but then the number of stitches was off. Ripped it out and started again -- same result. Ripped it out and started again. Ah, got to the third row this time -- success! But then the fifth row brought unexpected results. Time after time I started and undid and restarted. And finally, I was so stumped that I put the project aside until I could get some help from my friend Connie. It just so happens that her daughter Jeane, an expert knitter and yarn shop owner, was in town from North Carolina. She quickly found my mistake, knitted a good foundation of the pattern, and then handed it back to me. When I found her notes for me to correct my mistake, I thought, "Of course! Now I get it!"

Over the past several days I have realized a great deal about knitting things together. And it doesn't always result in a tidy well-fashioned scarf.

When knitting, sometimes there are changes in the color of yarn. It seems simple enough. And the end product looks like it is simple enough. But the changes in the colors must be planned for well in advance of the actual change. I am learning that I need to plan for the change of Advent well in advance of Thanksgiving. I need to consider the next yarn, its texture, its color, how it will be knit into the season that precedes it and into the festival that follows it. I need to be knitting in advance of the pattern change.

There is a rhythm of knitting. I look for patterns that let me knit nearly mindlessly. Stitch after stitch. Row after row. Just rockin' along. But then there is something that happens that turns it all upside down, results in messy dropped stitches, lost places in the pattern, a change in yarn that simply doesn't fit into the pattern. This is such a messy diversion.

Yesterday was a day of diversion for me. Many things were on track for our Advent and Christmas preparations. There was a planned schedule of getting things done that need to be done for the Season.  But then it all went topsy turvy. There was another pattern to be knitted together. Sitting with members of the family of faith, telling them bad news, bringing the box of tissues close for frequent use, figuring things out for the coming days. All of this is a wild and crazy pattern. But at the base of things, we were being knitted together because of our love and care for each other.

But, damn, this knitting together is not pain-free.

Tomorrow, I'll pick up the scarf and knit a few rows now that I have the corrected pattern and rest into the rhythm of the stitches and rows.

All is being knit together.

One gratefulchik bids