I have been thinking a lot lately how, for me, knitting can convey so much love and a sense of healing. Whether I am knitting a hat for a soon to be born baby, or a birthday gift for a dear friend, or a chemo hat for someone with cancer, I can express so many of my cluttered, unformed, and wordless thoughts and feelings by the act of knitting. In many ways the final completed object and the act of giving it are secondary; it's what goes on in my head and heart that matters the most to me. Still, I do think in some way those good thoughts go into the knitting and are passed on to my recipient. So today's post is a brief list of some of the ways I've been trying to heal, show love and caring, and to help in some small way when it is needed - all through the small act of knitting.
A recent post on Interweave Knits Knitting Daily blog had a pattern for knitted stuffed animals (Knitted Cuddlies,; look in their pattern library) along with a story about how the Sandi (the Knitting Daily blogger) had recently lost her cat, and had made the knitted cat design from the pattern as a means of solace for the loss of her cat. An outpouring of comments including many stories about recently departed and deeply-missed kitties (including one from me for my beloved Inky, who died last January) showed how closely Sandi's story matched many of our own lives. I have a young friend who is in many ways like a little sister to me who's going through a really rough time, and has expressed interest in getting a cat to help her through some of it (a similar situation is why I had gotten Inky 13 years ago) so I made her a knitted kitty to help keep her company and to use as a "test cat" for a while. I hope it will help her, but knitting it certainly helped me to do something positive with the concern I am feeling for her right now.
Another friend is having a birthday today, so I made her a flower-shaped washcloth from cotton chenille. The pattern is from Weekend Knitting and I've wanted to try it for a long time. It's very easy and went so quickly I will definitely make more. I sent it off on Friday wrapped up with a bar of lavender soap (the chenille was purple) and forgot to take a picture before sending it so no photo for this one.
For another project, a young woman who rides the same ferry I do to work is expecting twins - a boy and a girl - in early November. She and her mother, who also rides the ferry, are very excited about the new babies and their pleasure is so joyful, so full of love, and so contagious that I wanted to share in it and celebrate it just a bit. I am making hats for the twins; the girl's version is done and the boy's hat will be just like it but using powder blue instead of pink, and will have a knot instead of the bow on top. The pattern is my own, loosely based on the proportions in the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Rules book. Her sizes for newborn heads are much smaller than all the other references I have, so since my baby hats are usually too big I'm giving hers a try in the hopes these hats will actually fit before the babies are past the pastel baby colour stage. Besides, the mother 's doctor has told her to expect the babies about 3 weeks early, so a little closer to preemie size is probably a good thing.
And lastly, I am pondering what I can do for a friend who is in very bad shape from lung cancer that has spread to her brain and liver. She is about to start some serious chemo in the hopes of prolonging her life a few months to enjoy her friends, family and new grandson as much as she can. I think a chemo cap might be too late, but at least I can try. She's not an animal lover particularly so a knitted kitty or some such thing wouldn't do her much good either. Two previous friends have been lost to cancer; it is so sobering to face losing another. I can't even imagine how she must feel.