“I can think of several times in my life when knitting kept me from slapping some fool upside the head.”~Stephanie Pearl McPhee

I have several of Stephanie’s books floating around the house just now.  I can’t really say that I’m reading them exactly.  I mostly find myself just closing my eyes during any potential reading moments.  Sometimes the book is nearby, if that counts for anything.

Spots on the family futon sick bed are awarded on a greatest need basis.  We’re kind of just living all one on top of another.  You know that scene in one of the Little House books where they all have malaria and Laura is trying to crawl, dragging herself across the floor to get Mary a drink of water?  There were times this week that felt like that, only perhaps a bit less dramatic (perhaps more, there was often more than one person crying).  Today was good though.  It was a beautiful day and all five children felt well enough to play.  I can’t tell you what a relief that was.  I’ve been so worried.  Perhaps things are starting to turn around.

I started a new knitting project.  One that I can work on even with my eyes closed.  The idea came from one of those Yarn Harlot books.  It’s a knitted scrap book- scrap blanket? of sorts using all of the yarn leftover from old projects.  It’s like the crazy quilt of the knitting world.  What really sold me on it was the fringe, read as: less ends to work in.  In theory there should be no ends, but since I insist on using even tiny balls of yarn that won’t make it the full 280 stitches across a row, there will still be some finishing work for me.

I’m working a single row of each yarn leaving a long tail at either side. Every 4 rows I knot the ends from those rows together.  The only color rule I’ve applied to it is that I’m alternating a neutral and color every other row.  My theory being that it might help to blend this crazy range of hues together.  

There is something very cathartic about this project and also something deeply comforting.  It’s helping me to keep patient and hope.  Cotton from booties beside wool from a birthday sweater, next to yarn from a shawl, bordering yardage from a diaper cover.  In a way this really is our story.  It’s about the past, but also the future; using up those last little bits to make room for the projects, and the accompanying milestones, to come.

All three boys have picked it up at one point or another and sat knitting anything from a few stitches to a few rows.  Mairi made her very first stitches on this blanket, working in some of the leftover yarn from the little elf cap I made for her when she was a baby.  I added a stripe of the yarn she chose for her first project right after it.  We will always remember that little spot, knit by a “perfectly medium sized girl” glowing with pride.  Afterwards she declared that she might just be a “perfectly big girl” now.

In addition to starting to learn to knit this week, Mairi Rose is learning to read.  The book pictured is Living Alphabet, for those interested!


2 thoughts on “coping

  1. christina

    What a beautiful project to work on together! Hope yall start feeling better soon!

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