Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Knitting On

This is one of those moments in blogging where I ask myself, how do I talk about something intensely personal and difficult in a blog that shows my life through a very specific lens of delightful moments and creativity? If there is such a thing as a right way, I don't know what it is.

Last weekend was very difficult. Not only because Nate and I were horribly sick and spent Friday hospitalized, but especially because we lost a very dear friend on Saturday morning. After a short, brutal fight with Leukemia, our friend has moved on, leaving a hole in our lives, and our hearts full of bittersweet memories. I considered him part of my family, and I know he will live on in our shared memories and stories.

At times like this, I cannot help but wonder what mechanisms people use to cope with grief. Many knitters seem to fall back on the well-know, and probably overused, quote by Elizabeth Zimmerman: "Knit on with confidence and hope, through all crises." And so I did.


On Thursday, in the last hours before getting sick, I made my last trip to Windsor Button. For those unfamiliar, Windsor Button started as a notions store 75 years ago, and eventually grew into one of the larger, more varied yarn stores in the Boston metro area. Their closing sale has been running for a couple of weeks at this point, and the store was visibly picked through, full of sadness and leftovers. I came away with some Malabrigo sock yarn, and 5 wooden buttons for this baby cardigan. This cardigan carries the majority of my grief, knitted in daze over the span of a week. The dark green Malabrigo yarn is in the process of becoming socks for Nate. And so here I am, knitting on.


Cardigan pattern: Gramps by Tin Can Knits
Yarn: Destash nylon/acrylic blend, worsted weight

Edited to add: I should perhaps clarify the cardigan is a surprise for my baby brother. My dad doesn't read blogs, so I can post spoilers!


  1. When I hear the words I'm sorry for your loss, I cringe because they seem too easily said. I know how much I mean them now. I'm truly sorry for your loss.

  2. Oh Ana, I am so sorry. I've lost two too many people to cancer and many more internet friends that I've met through my lymphoma group.

    When my father was dying, I picked up my crochet hook and kept on going. Ditto chemo, my knitting needles saved my sanity then.

    Major hugs.

    1. Thanks for your support, Vanessa. Knitting/crocheting your sorrows away is certainly better than drinking them away!

  3. What a harsh time you have been through. I am so sorry that your friend died.

    To be honest, while I find knitting and other crafts help me keep my head during painful times it hard to keep things I have worked on during a crisis...they hold too many burdens. I spun a great deal of yarn during one recent crisis and find myself not using it. Eventually I will feel ready, but not yet.
    I hope the Spring will be peaceful for you.

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I completely agree with you about the difficulty of these burden-bearing projects - this is why I never knit for myself during these rough times. This cardigan will be shipped off to bring some joy to others, and hopefully the sorrow that went into making it will be shipped off with it.