What it’s there for
Saturday July 02nd 2011, 10:03 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,Knitting a Gift

Cheryl asked me yesterday if I had a lot of yarn, and I laughed and answered with a story on myself: the hot water heater once burst and flooded out the back of a closet where there was, ahem, more yarn tucked away–Richard knew about the stash in the family room closet…

But I’ve been thinking since then that although I was sheepish about it at the time that that happened, telling that tale that way wasn’t fair to my husband.  He has so often seen me find out about a need, someone who needed support just then, and seen me go to my stash and find what felt like just exactly the most perfect yarn to launch into for them and I go for it on the spot. Knitting is love made tangible. He has seen the joy. He has shared in that joy.

And I knew he got it, he really got it, 18 years ago when his sister, whose name was also Cheryl, was diagnosed with late non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He asked me if I would knit her something? And he insisted on coming along, driving me and our four kids across the Bay to the  now-gone Straw Into Gold store in Berkeley where the stock was immense, helping me pick out colors for her multi-colored vest. (There was no way I was going to feel sure I could get sleeves to fit from long distance, but a vest, that I could do.)

We wrapped her in our love together for eight more years.

I actually asked him just a few days ago, after a small cone arrived from Colourmart, if he minded how much yarn I had. (Side note to my fellow knitters: those come with mill oils that feel like dried hair mousse and the yarn must be hanked and scoured in soapy hot water, dried and balled before knitting, a lot of work and the missing steps that you pay for when you buy a yarn store yarn. But the cone was Zegna Baruffa, very soft, and the prices are what they are.)

He looked astonished. “No! That’s what makes you happy!”

Not just the collecting it, not the owning it, but the impish anticipation and then the moment in the recipient’s face (whether I get to see it or not) when it all comes together: every skein is a symbol of those moments. My job is to make them come to be in real life.

And this is true, too: the gift my lupus gives me is that it sits me down, especially on a bad day, and demands: KNIT.

So that it becomes no longer about me.

6 Comments so far
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Great to hear you and your husband don’t have problems with a big stash. I don’t like having a lot of wool in the house, it makes me nervous. I think too much about all the knitting that *needs* to be done and sits there making me feel guilty, instead of the way you think about it. And it is a beatiful thing that you can think about the lupus as something that gives you an opportunity to be there for others. Happy knitting!

Comment by tinebeest 07.03.11 @ 12:39 am

Beautiful! I think the Knight’s answer would be similar; he’s not shy about suggesting (demanding?) I knit for someone in particular when he feels that’s the thing to do, and he’s been very tolerant of the “yarn library.”

Comment by Channon 07.03.11 @ 6:05 am

Of course Richard wants you to be happy and blessings come on their own terms.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 07.03.11 @ 6:25 am

Yes! The satisfaction that comes when one is able to do something for someone else out of love — like knitting, for example. Or having no problem with a large yarn stash, like Richard!

Comment by Don Meyer 07.03.11 @ 11:23 am

Ummm, my husband has a piano stash . . . yarn is no big deal!!!

Comment by LauraN 07.03.11 @ 10:12 pm

🙂 I have the gift of RA, and I so understand your last sentance…..for me it hasn’t led to knitting, but the slowing down has truly been a gift and allows me to see other gifts.
I’m a lot easier to find now too!

Comment by kmom 07.05.11 @ 9:28 am

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