Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I'm trying to knit a prayer shawl.

I forced my mother to show me how to knit when I was about 7. She had tried a couple of knitting projects, but didn't enjoy it. I can't believe I made her teach me something she hated. Seven-year-olds are insensitive like that. Anyway, by the time I was 12, I had knitted 2 afghans, crocheted a poncho, and made several pairs of slippers, scarves, mittens, and stuffed rabbits. My favorite pastime was grabbing whatever yarn and needles and knitting clothes around my dolls, designing them as I went along.

In college, I started knitting a sweater for a boyfriend. Luckily, my next boyfriend was about the same size. I ended up altering it into a hip-length sweater for myself. Sweaters are hard.

My next boyfriend became my fiancee. A mediocre craftsperson, I married into a family of artists. One of my new sisters-in-law told me that I would have been one of the few who flourished during the industrial revolution, I was so good at doing fast, accurate, repetitive work with my hands. I know she truly believes that she meant it as a compliment. I still find it impossible to take it as one.

More on this saga later. Bottom line, I still like to make things. That never goes away even when I'm not making them.

When I saw an ad in our church bulletin asking people to make and donate "prayer shawls" ( for local people under nursing and hospice care, I knew I had to do it. There was a scrap of a chance that someone in the world might benefit from a skill I had to offer, and I decided to take it.

Oddly, my skill failed me. I've had to rip out more on this project than its simplicity warrants. But I've recovered. This shawl will get finished. And it may keep someone warm...not a moment too soon.

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