A stitch in time
Sunday September 30th 2007, 2:14 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knit,Life

I didn’t hear back from Johnna, which surprised me. I saw her before the main meeting at church started today, wearing a black dress, and thought, Oh perfect! That will look great with her new shawl! I headed to the back of the chapel to give it to her.

“You finished!?” she exclaimed as I handed it to her. And then, to my utter bewilderment, she burst into tears.

shawl folded overIt was May when Johnna was working behind the scenes playing graphic artist and overhauling my website in anticipation of my book release, working on it till 2 am on at least one night I know of, when she had to get up at 6:00 am. Wow. I really, really owed her that shawl. I knew that, I kept wanting to knit her one, I kept going through my yarn and looking in yarn stores, going, ehhh, that’s not it. I wondered what was wrong with me that I hadn’t gotten it done already. I finally thought, alright, enough of this, and had her come over; she discovered the most perfect combination out of my stash that I hadn’t even thought to put together–that Lisa Souza silk and that cashmere/merino blend I’d dyed–and I got to work. At last. About time.

After all this delay, part of me kept thinking, finish it after the trip East. A few more weeks at this point won’t make any difference. I did put the Scharffenberger-cocoa shawl on hold; but Johnna’s refused to go in the corner for long, even after the goofs and the rip-backs. It had to get done, and now. And so I did.

I had no way of knowing. Johnna was hundreds of miles away last week as her grandmother slipped away from this life. She stayed there for the funeral, and then finally came home.

To be handed a gloriously soft shawl, the silk radiant against the cashmere. The Peace shawl. Just for her.

The timing.

10 Comments so far
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Wow, I’m sure the shawl was a comfort to her. You have a gift for sensing when and where to give your lovely creations.. Very neat.

Comment by Bev 09.30.07 @ 6:04 pm

Apparently there was a reason it took so long to pick out the right yarn. You just didn’t know until now.

Comment by Carol 09.30.07 @ 7:11 pm

Oh wow that sounds wonderful. I’m sure she really appreciated it and I’m sure it’s another amazing shawl. How nice for her to have a friend like you.

Comment by Allison 09.30.07 @ 8:25 pm

I would say, rather, how nice for me to have a friend like her! Sure, I’ll knit–but I like to knit. I got to have that gorgeous silk and soft cashmere running through my hands for hours and hours; hardly a sacrifice. She gave up major sleep, trying to get the work done while her kids were asleep, and you don’t see me doing that. She’s got me beat, hands down.

Comment by AlisonH 09.30.07 @ 9:05 pm

The timing, yes. The timing is always impeccable when it comes to shawls, I’ve found.

Comment by Kathy W 10.01.07 @ 12:43 pm

As Martha Stewart would say, “It’s a good thing!” I’m so glad you were there at just the right time.

Comment by Barbara-Kay 10.01.07 @ 2:56 pm

It’s RED. And it is BEAUTIFUL! Of course red IS my favorite color, hence the Jitterbug red Colinette yarn I bought.

Comment by Lisa 10.01.07 @ 7:44 pm

The shawl is AMAZING. And I feel like such a happy stinker, for getting this amazing hand-handled creation. Oh, the color, so irridescent, such depth. I can just watch it, in fact, I do just watch it.

I’ve been buying clothes to wear under the shawl for the last two months. Wait till you see, I can do better than the black dress.

Comment by Johnna 10.01.07 @ 10:01 pm

About 20 minutes in the service, my son started sniffling that he was cold. I turned around and saw that he was wearing his shirt, not jacket. Darn, I’m supposed to look out for these things.

I suppose I’m supposed to do what I always do–hand him my wrap.

Yeah right, I’m wearing AlisonH’s red-spun-gold shawl. I dun wanna!

He’s my kid, and he’s cold. And I didn’t make sure he had a jacket. I carefully spread the shawl over him. Like fantastic eagle’s wings, it was, pooling over his arms.

He’s happy, and then sad. Being careful, he can tell the shawl is a big deal to me. And also, he’s calculating whether it’s girly.

“you look like you’re caught in my web,” I say. I’m rewarded with a flash of big toothy grin.

Soon he’s feeling better. The oldest teenager plucks the shawl off him. I’m not happy, but who wants to make a scene in church, even in the back row?

Later in the service, I’m crying. It’s been such a week, such a couple weeks. My daughter stands and carefully wraps the shawl over me again.

It was sweet, but that is definitely the end of the shawl-sharing.

Comment by Johnna 10.01.07 @ 10:22 pm

Beautiful. And funny. “He’s calculating whether it’s girly.” I can just picture him doing that, too; girls have cooties, you know. And I should be teaching your oldest how to make her own. Thank you, Johnna!

Comment by AlisonH 10.01.07 @ 10:53 pm

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