Inch by inch
Sunday December 30th 2007, 5:29 pm
Filed under: Knit

Row by row. Gonna make this garden grow. Gonna take the rake and hoe, sow the seed on fertile ground… Was that an Arlo Guthrie song? I heard it on a folk-rock album by I think Stan Rogers, back when CDs were a new technology and my kids were babies, and thinking at the time how it applied to every moment of being a mom to these brand-new people: I kind of made it my personal inner theme song for awhile there. Part of me wonders, if I sang it to them now, would it somehow feel familiar to them?

But it had receded ages since into the far-away background, and then I suddenly realized that’s what I was humming as I was looking at this wad of circular knitting. (A shawl. Whodathunkit.  Blue Moon Fiber Arts’ “Silkie” in Turquoise.)

Hmm. I held it stretched out, squinty-eyed. I weighed the ball and I don’t have enough to finish another half-repeat, it would have to be this long (however much that means once it’s blocked) or spend more money to make it longer. I need to rinse it still on the needles and lay it out to dry overnight to see; then I can cast it off. Or not.

It’s been sitting in my knitting bag the past couple of days. There was nowhere in the house to lay it out without someone tripping over it.shawl in a heap

We just put one kid on a plane, and his fiancee, who’d been staying with her grandparents and visiting them and us; they’ve arrived at the visit-both-sets-of-parents stage, and it’s her folks’ turn now. I can go spread my knitting out in his room. Part of me wants to say wryly, Oh joy–I’d far rather have my children around than their empty space.

Which is a good kind of problem to have, definitely.

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You are going to seriously laugh.

I’m sitting here waiting for the sitter so I can take my hubby to dinner for his birthday and the Boy crawls up next to me to ‘read’ over my shoulder. He saw the photo of the shawl and says, “Is that a marshmallow?” I say, “No, it is a shawl.” He’s quiet for a bit and then asks me to click on the photo to make it larger. Ok, I click. He says, “Let’s look at it for a minute.” Um, ok. “I think it is the right size.” I say, “right size for what?” (I just was dying to know where this is going.) He says, totally matter of factly, “For boys.” Yup, it is blue, sweetie, but I’m doubting your father will allow you to wear it, deal?

Comment by Patricia 12.30.07 @ 5:55 pm

Oh, that’s hysterical! You know, though, it would be a superhero cape the instant he put it on.

Comment by AlisonH 12.30.07 @ 6:05 pm

Love the first Comment!!! I understand about the kids bein gone. My 13 very soon to be 14 yr old by a quirk of law lives with my ex and his wife and comes here on weekends. We miss him alot whilre hes gone and try to make the most of the time we have with him on weekends.

Comment by Danielle from SW Missouri 12.30.07 @ 7:25 pm

Yup, Arlo Guthrie has performed it, as has Peter, Paul & Mary and John Denver (with the Muppets).

Comment by Kathy in San Jose 12.30.07 @ 8:24 pm

I think I heard the song by a children’s performer on a CD called Circle Time or something like that, which we checked out of the library. Somehow, I listened to those songs so much then, that I don’t feel any need to hear them again now–but they do sometimes return unbidden. And yes, our house is crowded and hopping with six kids here. I have a quilt to bind before my daughter leaves on Jan 5, but I think we’ll wait until after her brother and his wife leave on Jan 1, just so we have the room to spread it out. There will be time. We’ll get it done. And when they all leave, I’ll be suffering from what I call the “empty mess syndrome.” I’m sure you can figure that one out.

Comment by Laura 12.30.07 @ 8:50 pm

I think the empty nest thing must be painful. My oldest is turning 18 in a month and will be starting college in the fall. I am so torn between wanting to let her experience dorm life and just wanting to keep her here for as long as I can. Thankfully my youngest is only 8, so at least he should be around for a while.

Comment by Lisa 12.30.07 @ 9:28 pm

I love “The Garden Song!” I used to sing it to my students in religious school (I taught music) because Judaism has so many holidays related to agriculture. It made the ritual activities real to kids who might have had a backyard garden in town, but not much more!

Comment by Joanne 12.31.07 @ 9:04 am

That puddle of knitting is seriously gorgeous. Looks like the ocean. Drool.

Comment by Lene 12.31.07 @ 10:24 am

Oh maaaan…the Garden Song. The second I saw “row by row,” I started singing the song. We used to listen to that all the time when I was a kid. Tom Chapin did a version of it, I think, that we listened to.

Comment by Kate 01.01.08 @ 10:12 pm

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