I’m going through a trying time. In short, I’m having my second miscarriage in five months. But I have two lovely children, I have faith, I have friends and I have people who love me, so it’s all better than it could be.
But the other weapon in my arsenal, against the monsters lurking in the dark pools of my psyche waiting for an opportune moment to leap out and drag me under, is my knitting.
Stephanie has a theory that knitters are not patient people, but that while knitting, we exist in a bubble of artificially-induced calm. I am using my bubble as needed.
After I lost my first baby, unexpectedly, at 12 weeks two days before Christmas, I cast on a lovely, complicated, decadent, and beaded lacy cowl. I worked on it and made it as beautiful as I could. It was a challenge and it was delicate and beautiful and comforting. And I finished it, which felt like quite an achievement, in the circumstances.
On Monday as I sat in the waiting room, wondering if we were going to see a heartbeat or not, I couldn’t take out my current project in case the news was bad and the project was soured by association.
But after I heard the bad news and was dispatched to another waiting room, I pulled out my sock and looked at it. The yarn, TOFUtsies, is supposed to have antibacterial properties.
“Oh well,” I thought. “You can be my healing socks.”
(Then I immediately thought, gack, you can be disgustingly perky sometimes!)
But don’t worry, the wallowing in self-pity comes later with me. When it tempts me (when I get a chance, with two small children running around) I pick up my healing sock and it makes me happy. I love the colours, the delicacy, the way the yarn-overs spiral one way and the colours of the sock spiral the other. I love the feel of the yarn, and I love the stitch-after-stitch repetitiveness and the knowledge that if I get it wrong, I can rip back and fix it.
I love that it keeps me focussed on the moment, on the present. And none of those moments are awful. I read about an author who lost her (eight year old?) daughter and turned to knitting to help her get through. How could she live through that, I wondered. That must be so much worse than my troubles. She must have had days when she needed the knitting to make her want to move at all. I’m guessing got through it stitch by stitch.
And that’s what I shall do.