Wednesday, October 12, 2011

To Knit Or Not To Knit

Finding joy again in things that interest you following a death can be hard enough, but what if the task at hand has powerful (therefore painful) connections to the loved one that passed?

What I'm struggling with right now is knitting.

When I would knit, it would always be on the living room couch, and many times Ginger would be stretched out next to me.  Sometimes she would rest her head on my skein of yarn, and if I had to put my work down for a moment, she would rest her head on my work, needles and all.  The project I was working on when she died was a dog sweater for her.

I feel like Mrs. Meade in Gone With The Wind when, as the crowd is gathered to hear the news of Gettysburg, she hears that her son has been killed.  "I was knitting these mittens for him.....he won't need them now," she says, as she succumbs to tears.

As I was cleaning house the day we brought Sasha home, the sweater on the needles was laying on the coffee table, in the same place it was the last time I had worked on it when Ginger was still alive.  It about killed me to pick it up and put it away, out of sight.  Part of me was tempted to just rip it off the needles and wind the yarn back up.  The maddening practical side of me said no, you'll want to finish it someday if only to practice the new techniques you've been learning with this project.  So I opted to just put it out of sight for now until I can bring myself to look at it again without crying.

I've been wanting to find something new to work on, something easy that I could make for Christmas presents, say.  Like a bookmark, or super-easy scarf.  But every pattern I come across seems too hard to even contemplate, like I don't have the mental capacity to do anything more complicated than garter stitch.  I don't know if that's just being lazy and not wanting to apply myself, or just the grief talking.  Maybe both?

I'm not an accomplished enough knitter to just be able to pick up and knit anywhere, owing to the fact that I don't really hold the needles right.  I've found that sitting on the couch allows me to rest my elbow on the arm of the couch, and letting the work (and sometimes the needles) rest on my upper body helps me hold it.  Bad habit to get into, I know you experienced knitters are probably cringing right now!  But it's what works for me.  I don't think I'll ever get good enough to be one of those knitters who takes her knitting everywhere and can just pick up and work while waiting in a lobby (for one, how do you not need the pattern right in front of you!?).  So, I feel the only place I can knit is on the couch, and that reminds me too much of Ginger.

I'm not really sure of the point of this post, unless it's just to vent.  I want to knit something, but feel like I'm butting up against a wall.  I think it would be a nice distraction in the evenings to keep me from dwelling on the grief, especially on nights when I'm alone when the Husband is in night class.

Anyone experienced anything remotely like this before?  And how did you move past it?


  1. I am so, so sorry to hear about your beloved dog and I can relate completely. I suddenly lost my dog a few years ago - a trip to the emergency vet and maybe an hour after that I had to say goodbye. I grieved so terribly...I still tear up, even now as I write this. So I know how you feel.

    I can't knit, but wish I could. I started embroidering a few years ago and sadly, the piece I started still isn't finished yet!
    All I can say is, it will take time. A lot of time. Writing about it will help.

  2. Finish the sweater. Please? Yes, you will cry, but that isn't a bad thing.

  3. Awh, I feel so bad for you. Sending you prayers so that your sadness will soon be replaced with lovely memories:)


  4. To be honest I have had to force myself to write my blog, something I usually have endless enthusiasm for but which I just cant muster right now. It took me a week before I could even bear to open my handbag as I knew Jet's lead was inside. But I think you just have to do it, like ripping off a plaster, do it and do it quick even though you know it will hurt, you also know that once you have done it, it wont feel so bad, hugs P x

  5. You should consult

    She's very sensitive.

  6. Honey, I feel your pain. When Metro died (Aug 2010) I couldn't imagine ever being able to walk through my front door without feeling like my heart was breaking.

    Time, my friend, is a powerful ally when it comes to loss.

    In my case, the biggest change I made was to rearrange the furniture. I couldn't bear looking at the spots where he would lay.

    I think you need to mix it up a bit. I know you said you can't knit on-the-go but you need to sit somewhere else for a while...till it doesn't hurt so much.

    Just remember: we mourn in direct proportion to how much we loved someone. Give yourself time...

    I'm so sorry to hear about Ginger, sweetie. Sending you hugs across the miles...


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