Monday, May 23, 2016

Darn socks

I spent Saturday darning socks. It all started because I couldn't find my 1.5mm double point needles anywhere, and finally I found them in my darning basket. Six pairs of socks, one darning egg, and my 1.5s holding stitches of my husband's sock ripped back to the gusset.

That isn't actually darning. Not technically when I have to re-knit the whole foot.

Anyways, I digress.

For small holes I darn with a needle and yarn of the same or close to the same matching colour and weave the hole together. Sometimes, if the hole is quite large I pick up stitches and knit the sock back together. Sometimes, I re-knit the whole darn thing.

See what I did there? Darn? Darn!

I like darning socks once I get down to it. I usually wait until I have a few to do. Like Saturday.

Darning socks makes me feel close to my grandmother and aunt. I am certain they darned many socks in their day.

Darning socks makes me feel useful, and thrifty. Besides my hand-knit socks all mean so much to me, I couldn't bear to throw them out.

Once a sock is darned it isn't the same as the new sock was. The yarn might not match perfectly. The fit may be a little different. It is often noticeable on the bottom of my foot where the repair is.

But over time the repair felts in with the sock, joins it inextricably. It is like a scar. When I see it I remember when the sock was perfect, and how it feels different now that it is repaired. Not better or worse. Just different.

When I thought about re-knitting the sole of my husband's sock I knew the difference in yarn texture and colour would be quite noticeable. But they are my husband's favourite socks so I keep them even though this time I thought I should just throw them out and make some more.

But then I was visiting my sister and I started to tink back on the sock to get to the place where I had 72 good strong stitches and started to move forward.

I finished them that night. Flawed, and old, but finished and my husband was so happy to have them back in rotation.

Fixing things in life is a similar process. Sometimes our fixes leave scars, but the scars can join in with our lives and represent something new, something different, something repaired.

Our mistakes felt into our lives and can no longer be removed, nor would we want them too. Not really. Because they make us who we are today. They remind us of lessons we have learned. Or perhaps, are still learning.

Those socks I re-knit on Saturday will always remind me of my sister. Who was there for me. Who is always there for me.

Our lives are felted together.

And the socks I am wearing right now? The one with the weave right under the ball of my foot? I feel it there and it reminds me that fixing things that are broken is worth it.

Darn socks. I just wanted to get them off my to-do list, and yet they taught me another life lesson.


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Black and White

I started to knit this

in memory of my dear border collie, Maggie, who was my constant companion for 14 years.

The yarn is specifically called Border Collie by Ancient Arts - one of my favourite yarn companies. And the fiber is Blue-faced Leichester which is my favourite fiber.

I only had 50 gms, so decided to knit this cowl half the number of stitches, learning something new as I went - Brioche.

Then when it was started my daughter's black and white cat, Otis, went missing, and I was looking for him everywhere.
He finally answered my call last Tuesday night, and was back in my arms on Wednesday morning. The last week has been vet visits, anti-nausea pills twice a day, pain medication twice a day, food every couple of hours and keeping a close watch on this little guy who had fractured his pelvis in two places. Probably a run in with a car. Who knows? I wish he could tell me where he had been for those five days and nights.

He and I have become inseparable in the last week and I realize this little cowl I am knitting is his colour too.

Funny how life goes.

Or doesn't go.

He never was much of a cuddler, but now he cries to be up on the bed, or the couch beside me. He can't yet jump up himself, but he makes his desires well known.

He kneads and kneads at me, frantically, and I put up with his prickly claws because he seems so desperate for contact.

My anxiety is pretty high these days, I have been reluctantly attending to things I have promised to do, and cancelling things I could.

Last night I was suppose to go to my prayer meeting.

It is a gathering of friends, every two weeks, and we systematically ask for what we want and support each other in envisioning the reaching of our goals.

I couldn't think of anything I wanted.

Or not anything I wanted that I wanted to say out loud.

So I stayed in, grumpy, and worked on my brioche cowl. It is a fairly easy knit, quite therapeutic, but sometimes my stitch count gets off and it takes a few minutes to fuss it back into order.

Kinda like life.

Except life can take longer to fix, or fudge.

So I am knitting for Maggie, and for Otis, and for me.

I am knitting because honestly, I don't know what else to do.

What would I have asked for last night?

I want to feel safe.


That's what I want.