Sunday, September 2, 2012

Knitting in Private

As I've shared with you already, my father in law Lou is rapidly losing his battle with cancer.  It is his wish to die at home, and my husband and/or I are at Lou's house nearly 24/7, helping my elderly and ailing mother in law with Lou's care.  This has always been a "door's always open" sort of house, and it still is.  13 visitors yesterday, and that was an average day for this week.  It's a blend of the immediate and extended family, and friends from across the decades.

As often as not, I'm sitting off to the side knitting.  The reactions of the rarely-seen relatives and neighbors are fascinating - very different from the knitting in public comments I usually get.  First, many family members refer to what I'm doing with two needles and some yarn as crocheting.  Second, every single person who comments mentions that they didn't know anyone "did that anymore."  It makes me smile every time.

The part that I enjoy the most, though, are the faces folks make as they remember the knits made for them by loved ones in the past.  "My mother always used to make us thick socks every Christmas," said one with eyes gleaming. "Remember Nana's hats?  I just gave one she made for me when I was a kid to my grandson!"  And last night Tom shared, "My late wife used to knit all the time.  Sweaters, dresses, blankets, mittens - she made 'em all.  She even made costumes for volunteers at Colonial Williamsburg!"  His pride was almost palpable.

Lou's reaction is a little different.  "Still working on that thing?  It looks like you're knitting so fast, but you're never done!" he chides me.  "You spend too much time waiting on me!"  He's been watching me alternate between projects, but it all looks like the same sweater to him. 

The yarn for his blanket hasn't come in yet, but when it does he'll recognize the difference.  The other projects are cream and pastels, but his blanket will be the color of the bluest part of the sky on a clear dry day.  It's his favorite color.  The visitor I await the most anxiously is the UPS man, to bring that yarn.  Darn holiday weekend!  It'll be two more days or more until I can get swatching.

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