I pulled my boxes of yarn out from behind the rocking chair in the guest room this morning. I had not looked at this collection of yarns of various colours, sizes and degrees of softness since last winter. That I only found three projects started and forgotten seemed like a good sign. There had been a sense of closure when I hid the stuff away last.
I was reminded of all the knitting and crocheting that I had done last year, making things for myself, my family and anyone else who would take a scarf or a neck cowl which were my specialties at the time. They were also by the way the only garments that I can make. (I did go through a blanket phase years ago) I had been on a roll last winter, enjoying the somewhat mindless task of creating something out of a bunch of string. I even came close to the point where I would use a pattern and include some fancy stitches like cables but this never reached a finale. Dropping into the fabric store around the corner and feeling the assorted textures, some melting in your hand and others sturdy and strong became a habitual activity of mine. Staring at the array of colours was enticing. And yes I did buy yarn that “was such a good deal and would make such a nice scarf” and which is now sitting safely in my boxes here at home. But attention to yarn, knitting and scarves drew to a close. Seasons changed and so did my activities and the multicolored collection of yarns, needles and hooks were relegated to the hiding spot behind the big chair.
I wondered why I chose to look for and begin playing with my yarn once again. I did not think I was searching for another thing to occupy my time. This was cause for reflection.
Was it as simple as the turning of the seasons that naturally pulled me to prepare for the coming cold? Perhaps I was experiencing an instinctual response still hanging around from the era where this activity would have been necessary. Or was it the frosty feel in the air that made me want to be surrounded by warm fuzzy things? A need to be cozy and warm perhaps.
Whatever brought the boxes out from behind the chair also brought with it memories and reminders. Memories of the scarves that I made and gave to each one of my children for Christmas last year. Memories of just sitting by the fireplace and watching a scarf come to life. Memories of the time I spent with my daughters trying to teach them how to crochet, a difficult mission when the instructor is not very proficient at the task and equally thorny when your daughters share your impatience and yearning for perfection.
Seeing my assortment of yarn also reminded me that I want to take time to visit with Maxine, a dear friend’s mother who has volunteered to teach me how to knit mittens which she says is really easy. We’ll see! This in turn reminds me of all the people that I would love to visit with again. I am also reminded of all the scarves and neck cowls that crowd my front hall closet and that I have all that I need in that department.
I am not sure if I will take up knitting or crocheting again this winter. Maybe focusing on the development of a new scarf will be a nice break from words and will be refreshing. I have sorted the yarns by colour and type and will keep the boxes out for a while. I will continue to reflect on the memories and reminders and we will see what develops.
Irene McDermott © 2011