At the End
I’ve been a knitter for about 14 years now. One thing I have noticed over those years is how whatever project I am knitting somehow gets associated with whatever is going on with my life at the time. In other words, each project has memories attached to it that come to mind whenever I see or wear that knitted item. For example, there’s a pair of socks that I remember knitting one year at the beach. Every time I wear those socks, I remember back to those happy moments knitting contentedly while on vacation. There’s also a sweater that I worked on while the husband was in the hospital following a serious car accident. When I wear that sweater, I am reminded of those anxious times and feel grateful that things turned out ok. We knitters spend a lot of time with our projects and sometimes those projects become part of our lives during that time.
Two years ago, I started a sweater. Two years ago, we were also deep into house hunting for our move. Somehow, I was never able to really get into the groove of knitting that sweater. I think now that it was perhaps a reflection of how I was feeling at the time. Moving is stressful and as much as I knew it was the right thing to do at that time, it was also something I very much did not want to do. And, just as I struggled with adjusting to all the changes that the move brought to us, I really struggled with being motivated to knit that sweater.
Occasionally, I would pick it and work on it. A few times, I even managed to finish a piece of it.
This was the state of things at the beginning of May. All the pieces were finished except for the sleeves.
Sleeves don’t usually take too long for me, but I was not feeling particularly motivated to finish these. So, I did something that sometimes helps me to make some progress on a stalled project. I took it with me on a road trip and did not take any other knitting that I could do in the car.
It worked. At least, it worked for that first sleeve. The second sat around waiting for a bit until I decided that enough was enough and I cast on on that second sleeve.
A few days of dedicated knitting was all it took to get the second sleeve finished. All that was left was the sewing up.
Instead of diving into that, I found myself distracted by other things again. But, on the eve of going to the MA Fiber Festival last weekend, I wondered if I might be able to finish the sweater to wear the next day at the festival. Nothing gets a knitter motivated to finish something than the prospect of being able to wear it around a bunch of other knitters! I did not end up finishing the sweater in time, but it got me started and I did manage to finish by the end of the weekend.
It just needed a bath and rest after that. Now, two years later after I started the sweater, it is finally finished.
The sweater is really comfortable and I like it a lot. The pattern was great. It must be because every time I came back to it, I had to figure where I was and what I was supposed to be doing. And that’s sort of how I have felt on and off over the past two years. Where am I and what am I supposed to be doing? I would ask myself this often as I adjusted to our new normal here. I can’t really explain why I was so unmotivated with the sweater except that maybe it was somehow a reflection of how unsettled I have felt this past two years in this new place.
And now that it is finished, I think it is also a reflection of how I am feeling these days here; more comfortable, more settled, more at home. This is not to say that I am totally at home here because I still don’t feel like I really “belong” here. To be honest, I’ve never felt like I “belonged” anywhere but that’s a topic for some other time. I think there is always a part of us that lives in the places we leave behind, but those places also go with us and live in us.
There’s nothing magical or mystical about this sweater, but I do think it will always remind me of these last two years when my world was shifting and changing and I was struggling to figure out how to live in it. Thankfully, the sweater, just as this life, fits pretty well, looks pretty, and is really quite comfortable.