In the fall of 2013, I started a knitting project.
My quest to knit something as a gift for a friend (who shall go unnamed) seems ridiculous in retrospect. I had broken my left hand in August, following which I had surgery and weeks of therapy. I’ve never been a first-rate knitter and I can’t purl at all. The scarves and small items that I’ve managed to produce over the years look odd to anyone with any knitting savvy. But I shopped for a lovely color of variegated yarn and a large circular needle, and started.
Within a month, I realized that I couldn’t finish in time for Christmas.
Then the entire year of 2014 happened. My life spun out of control; my favorite curmudgeon fell ill; my virus flexed its muscles and my heart shuddered. Fall’s nip turned to winter’s chill. We buried my favorite curmudgeon; my heart fluttered; and I flew to San Jose where a specialist said, without hesitation, that he thought he could change my life in ways I never dreamed possible.
His enthusiasm invigorated me. I came home and thought about that knitting project. I scrounged around the house and finally found it shoved in the back of my cedar closet. I hauled it down to the living room, determined to finish it by Christmas 2014 — a year late. And I tried; believe me, I tried. But the days and nights sped by; and I did not make it.
Now it’s February, and In a week, I will fly back to San Jose to see the specialist. I’m about to start the fifth skein of this six-skein project. I noticed last night that the entire color scheme of my living room now matches the piece I’m making. It’s all new stuff — chairs, pillows, paint. My house has absorbed this knitting project by osmosis. I spend endless hours in this room, the Food Network playing on the television, while I manipulate the yarn with my lily-white spastic hands. I still can’t purl. But I’m pushing forward. When it is done, I’ll pack it in a box and take it to the person for whom I’m making it. The box will be opened, and the piece will be lifted out, raised and examined.
Then I’ll come back, and stand in my living room, seeing those same colors reflected in the furnishings. I will smile; and think about the evenings spent sitting in my rocker, knitting my way home, one stitch at a time.