I am a knitter. I have a project going most of the time and work on it almost daily. It saves me, keeps me company, creates gifts and, these days, is helping me reduce my stash – the skeins, balls and bits of yarn that I have collected over my 67 years.
Right now, I am knitting a scarf, using a couple of skeins of fine, dark blue silk that I bought years ago. I wound one skein into a ball and gave up. This yarn knots when I look at it. But recently I found a simple pattern. The yarn is perfect, the stitch – once I practiced it a while – is absorbing – almost hypnotic. There’s only one catch – aside from winding the second skein into a ball.
This pattern, with regular yarnovers and pairs of stitches knit together is impossible – for me – to tink or frog (technical knitting terms that result in undoing a piece of knitting in order to recover a dropped stitch or correct another error). I’ve tried over and over and the results are unsightly gaps, but I’ve decided to keep knitting. I don’t think the mistakes will be obvious when this soft scarf is wrapped around my neck. And I do believe that errors in human creations are reminders that none of us is perfect.
But just now, knitting my way through my morning coffee break, I was looking at my work so far and thinking about the image of Mary, the undoer of knots, and realized that this imperfect scarf is a metaphor for my life right now.
I am at the point in my life when I am trying to use up the mountainous stash of yarn I have accumulated. So I search to find projects suited to the limited amount of a particular yarn that I have (I’ve knitted linen table-runners that use up one or two balls of yarn, for example). In this project, there is no going back to correct mistakes – just efforts to restore the pattern and move on. I’m not paying attention to measurements or sizes or whether the resulting garment will fit. I am just determined to knit until there is no more yarn left. One of these days, I will need to take a break – I have a Christmas stocking to knit for a new niece and a few holiday gifts to finish. But for now, I am knitting a metaphor, surprised that it so suits my life.