This was a favorite post from 2008. A warm, fuzzy way to start 2009. Enjoy!
Several years ago, my grandma patiently tried to teach me to knit. I was usually too busy to sit still long enough to learn the craft that she spent so many years enjoying and sharing with others. But from time to time, I’d still myself and she was always willing to start over with me as soon as I slowed down enough from my frantic pace. Those moments with her were times I really treasure, especially now that she’s passed away.
After she died, I decided to sit down and really teach myself to knit, as a way of honoring her and (considering it in retrospect) probably as a way to work through my own grief. My first project was a holey pink square which quickly became a stuffed duckie’s blankie and my second was a mini-poncho that had started out as a simple rectangle gone bad, that became a stuffed bear’s first garment (which pleased my children to no end). If I can find these atrocious treasures, I’ll post pics of them here–good for a laugh, but little else!
Since then, I’ve knitted sweaters and scarves and mittens and hats and dishcloths. My last project was definitely the most difficult of all: Socks. Well, Sock, to be exact, because the second one isn’t finished yet.
You’d never know from looking at your sock drawer what goes into knitting a sock (I sure didn’t), but I decided it would be a worthy adventure.
What I didn’t know is that knitting socks is something like knitting with giant toothpicks (four or five double pointed needles) and dental floss (skinny skinny skinny yarn).
After many false starts, at last, I got it going. Socks progress at an excruciatingly slow pace (mine sure did!), but it has been fun to celebrate each little victory as I master something new!
After hours and hours (seriously, hours) of effort–at last–my first sock!
I’m resisting the urge to frame it and I’m making another one so that I can snuggle up in them this winter. The kids and Brad have already put in orders for theirs as well! (At my current pace, eight year-old should get hers about the same time as her driver’s license, but it’s still fun and, believe it or not, quite a stress-reliever.)
My children now have taken up an interest in knitting and crocheting as well, so we’ve been having quite the time teaching, learning, and creating together.
As for me, I consider myself blessed to have the chance to slow down with them and create some memories with them like my treasured ones with my grandma–those memories that will last long after my sock masterpieces wear out.
And then there are those life lessons that are learned through this creative process:
Sometimes more is gained from slowing down than from running harder.
Every big project starts with that first stitch.
Take time to spend with your parents and grandparents and children in a quiet, “agenda-free” setting. Those are the times you’ll remember most when they’re not with you.
Things worth having are worth working for.
A teensy slip-up, ignored and not fixed, can turn into a great big hole and a nasty mess down the road.
It’s easier to fix a problem right away than to wait until later.
If something’s a real mess, sometimes it’s best to rip it out and start over from the beginning.
Enjoy both your results and every stitch of the journey to get there.
Homemade really is better.
Read the instructions.
Don’t panic when you realize you’ve messed up. Stay calm and think it through and you’re on the way to fixing the problem.
Listen to advice from those that know more than you.
When Grandma says, “I can fix it, honey,” chances are she really can.
When God said He knit you together in your mother’s womb, He didn’t use a knitting machine. He did it stitch by stitch, purposefully and full of love. And He didn’t make a single mistake. (Here’s where He said that.)