Knitting soothes my soul, but that has not always been the case. I used to love knitting. I’d take it everywhere, to kids’ sporting events, to meetings, on trips. I especially loved knitting in the evenings, but that was before I started drinking every night.
When I was drinking I did not knit. I could not knit. The few times I tried, I became frustrated. The few times I tried, I’d make mistakes and, unable to figure out how to undo them, I’d rip out the work and stop.
Now, the no longer drinking me, is knitting again and it brings me joy. The calming repetitive motion of needles and fiber working together to create something relaxes my mind in a way that a glass of wine never did, and never could.
Thinking about it as I write, I realize that I used knitting to calm myself when my mother was in the hospital for 3 weeks before she died. The days and weeks are now all a blur, a time I have buried in my memory, but in my new clarity is starting to come back.
Mom was fine one day, and in a coma the next. It was a shock to us all. She had her ongoing chronic health issues, but none were life threatening the day before the coma. As I packed my bag for a trip of unknown length I grabbed some yarn from my stash and the wooden tipped circular needles I knew TSA would not confiscate. I did not know what I’d make, but my soul knew I would need something to occupy my brain, and soothe my spirit, as I sat beside her hospital bed. So, day after day after day, for 3 weeks I knit and knit and knit. I made it up as I went along, just as we make up our life as we go.
I knit until I had no yarn left, the day we took her off life-support. I bound off what had become the only thing I would ever knit for my mother, a Prayer Shawl of fibers woven together with the love, tears and devotion of a first baby.
I walked alongside as the angel nurses guided my mom’s bed to the private room where she would pass in peace a few days later. Holding her hand in one of mine I placed my other hand gently over her crystal blue eyes, shielding them from the bright neon bulbs marching by on the hospital corridor ceiling. Eyes the same pale blue as mine that often need sunglasses indoors to ease the intensity of the light that can trigger a migraine.
Once the nurses left, I placed the prayer shawl, knit of yarn the color of her eyes, across her chest and around her shoulders to warm and comfort her. I feel tears welling up as I write these words, the loving tears of memory, not the disabling tears of grief, and I am thankful for these memories.
Yes, knitting soothes my soul.
P.S. while I do not have a pattern for what I made for mom, I recently discovered a wonderfully creative pattern developer and I cannot wait to start one of her designs.
I thought I’d pass the link along- www.woolenberry.com Happy Knitting.