Wednesday, July 05, 2006
We traveled this weekend to a family lakeside cabin in Tennessee to celebrate Papa Clover's birthday and Independence Day. As most knitters know, packing for a trip is a very important task. One must bring enough knitting for all possible occasions, but not too much knitting or else the nonknitters might be frightened. I packed the anniversary sweater for knitting at the cabin late at night when everything is quiet and only the sound of the birds, frogs, water, and snoring would keep me company. I packed the sherbet orange ribbon tank top that has been languishing in my stash since last year's trip to the beach. It was still in it's waterproof bag and would be perfect for knitting while out on the lake. Finally, I packed the Honeymoon Cami which as been fluttering between WIP (work in progress) and UFO (unfinished object) status for the last year. The cami was to keep my hands working during the idle moments, when we all sat outside talking and drinking coffee in the early morning sun. The cami brought back the past years worth of memories and how much life had changed.
I'm not sure if the approaching milestone birthday has made me more reflective recently or if other factors have caused me to look back. Either way, I've found myself thinking about what my life is and how my life has changed. The cami is just one aspect of how I am different now than I was just one short year ago.
When I began the cami, I was a "new" knitter. My great aunt taught me how to knit when I was young and active and she wanted me to learn how to sit still. I tossed it aside shortly after learning in favor of climbing trees with my boy cousins and playing Star Wars. I didn't think about knitting again until college when we put on a production of "The Lottery." The director thought it would be very nice if Jolynn could knit on stage. I volunteered to teach her and when I held the needles and yarn in my hands, a distant part of my being stirred, being awakened for the first time in ages. Surprisingly, my hands just began to knit, as if they had been waiting all this time for something to do. Jolynn was still knitting years later when I ran into her at a fair.
I knitted and crocheted off and on for a few years after college, always putting it aside in favor of other hobbies. Finally, in October of 2004, I decided to knit my best friend a baby sweater for my soon to be born God daughter. This time, it stuck. The sweater was awful, filled with new knitter mistakes. Every stitch on the sweater was twisted and it looked way too big to be for a newborn. The size didn't stop me. I just kept on knitting. I followed up with scarves for gifts and a huge tank top (it really is more of a mini dress). Finally, I bought some handpainted rayon yarn with amazing drape in a blue and green colorway. I casted on, and knitted, and put it away, and knitted, and put it away.
It came with us to the cabin. I sat with it in the sun and thought about it. When I began the pattern, it looked a bit complicated to me. I loved the colors, but wasn't thrilled with the illogical hodgepodge swirls. Now, though, I noticed the swirls are really stripes with a defined color repeat. The jumbling of colors made sense to me once I saw the whole cami and not just an inch here or an inch there. I liked it. The pattern was much easier than I remembered. With a bit of experience, the knitting had gotten easier. What had taken me over a year to do now seemed very easy and plausible. I could finish this in just a few hours. I could manage it. Amazing what a change in perspective and a year's worth of experience can do.
Little Clover had a few more experiences too