a knitter navigates through life

Friday, April 25, 2008

I can't fix cancer, but I can knit.

When I was just a wee little sprout, we moved to Atlanta, to a neighborhood which consisted of three kids (me, my sister, and a neighbor boy), and a bazillion retirees. Initially, that sounds like no fun, but we made out like gangbusters. We always had a ready audience for our Girl Scout cookie sales, and we made a lot of money pet-sitting when people went on vacation (soooo much better than baby-sitting. I've baby-sat twice and both times the kids tried to kill me. And people wonder why I'm child-free-by-choice.). With two of the neighbors, we grew so close that they gave us money at our graduations. We've all known each other for twenty years now, and about two months ago, one of these neighbors died of cancer. It wasn't exactly sudden, but death is always unexpected and leaves such a rift, and his widow is trying to cope with her loss.

I want to make it better, but I can't fix cancer. I can, however, knit. (And I do, even when asked nicely not to.) So I decided to design and knit a scarf for her. I went into Knitch to buy yarn with no real idea of what I wanted. I wanted something in a chunky weight, that could stand up to ungentle washing, and a nice, neutral color, because I really didn't know her color preferences. I was thinking a nice tan. And so I preceded to torture poor Lois, who is a very sweet person and deserves better, making her show me every tan yarn in the place. Nothing would work; everything was too light, too dark, just not right. So Lois went off to help a less indecisive customer, and I wandered over to the cotton area, where I saw: the perfect yarn, Blue Sky Alpaca Dyed Cotton in Tomato, which is the most beautiful deep earthy red. Red is kind of like tan, right? Sorry, Lois.

I'm really enjoying designing the cables. I wanted it to be all symbolic, with two cables representing her and her husband, starting apart at the beginning and growing closer until they began to twine around each other. Then the cables separate again, with a braided cable growing between them (they have three sons), and the two original cables will continue to twine around them. Designing this has been very good for my brain. It's been making me do a lot of that painful thinking thing. I feel my brain growing. And because it's changing so much, it's a lightning-fast knit. Usually I get so bored with scarves, but I haven't had a chance to here.
I hope it makes her feel better. My only fear is that she's going to cry when I give it to her.


Eve said...

What a wonderful and thoughtful gift. And yes, she'll probably cry, but that's ok.

The Chickengoddess said...

I love the idea of expressing someones life through the cables.

Gotta Knit! said...

Of course she is going to cry! You made me tear up just reading about it.

Incredibly kind of you.

The Mad Crocheter said...

That is so beautiful. In multiple senses of the word.

Megan said...

She will, most assuredly, cry.
Heck, I did just reading about it.