2.02.2011

The Scarf


I meant to do this post in December. But really, the fact that I got anything done in December, with all the Christmas madness, is remarkable. I spend January shoveling (post forthcoming). So I'm spending an icy Groundhog day doing what I should have done 2 months ago!

A year ago November, I was in a really bad place. My dad had just died. My youngest son was diagnosed as autistic (PDD-NOS) and I was barely surviving the constant feelings of stress, sadness, anxiety, grief... you can imagine. I wasn't functioning well.

I was talking to a lovely mom of one of Scout's friends, who has since become a dear friend of mine, and we were talking knitting. Barbara is an amazing knitter. Knitress? Whatever. She was wearing a very chic chevron striped scarf that was long and narrow and so cool. I admired it, and she encouraged me to knit one... even though I haven't knit much since my days as a Girl Scout, when I learned to knit for a badge.

She went one step further than encourage me... a few days later she dropped off a set needles, the pattern, and about 10 rows already knit to get me started. She suggested I could practice with her leftover yarn until I was ready to buy my own yarn. I was encouraged just enough to start, and found it soothing. I bought some yarn and on our long annual drive to DC for Thanksgiving, I was on my way... knitting a scarf that I planned to give my mom for Christmas that year. [Ironically my friend Barbara learned shortly after Thanksgiving that she had breast cancer, and she has spent the past year kicking its a**!].

Knitting that scarf took me a full year. I would work on it slowly, put it away for a month or so, pick it back up. It was hard. I made a ton of mistakes, and had to pull it out and reknit it. You get the point. I drug that thing all over the place with me. I finally finished it almost exactly 1 year later. Barbara blocked it for me and I mailed it out to my mom, 1 year late!

I still had two half skeins of the very expensive yarn left, so I decided to knit another one. I could not believe how much easier it was the 2nd time. I got nearly 1/4 finished by the end of Thanksgiving break, only to discover that it was impossible to buy more of the yarn in the same colors, so I pulled it out and started a new pattern.

The thing is, I couldn't get past the parallels to the scarf and my own life. Last year was so hard. And getting through it seemed to take forever. I made mistakes; I had to do things differently and start over a few times. But as this new year begins, I'm realizing that this year is going to be like the 2nd scarf. A lot easier. Not easy by a long shot, but easier than the year before. I know what I'm doing now... or know MORE of what I'm doing. I'm slowly but surely figuring out Crosby... and he is making slow but steady progress. I miss my dad like crazy, but I am able to remember him now without constantly thinking about the painful end he endured. I was so worried about my mom and how she would cope... she has surpassed all our expectations in the many ways she has navigated this year. She is a rock. I'm so thankful that last year is finished (and the scarf is finished too!) and am hoping this year will be better for us all.

And I'm proud of myself for finishing the scarf!

12 comments:

Janice said...

Great post. Brought me to tears.

laura said...

That was a beautiful post, Sara. So glad that you made it through that year and things are looking a little brighter now.

Sally DeFord said...

Sara, you are such a strong woman and I'm so sorry for the hard things you have been going through. I love you.

carrie said...

Love the post, love the scarf, love you.

em said...

I love this post. I cried as well and what a sweet friend. I'm so bummed all the time that I'm not closer and able to help. I just love Barbara for offering that sweet kindness.

Also really proud of your entire family for the way you endured such a hard year. AND the scarf is so beautiful.

Robin said...

Tears. What a beautiful post and a beautiful scarf. I miss your posts. You are a lovely writer. I miss you too. Please come down for some Zaytoons soon. And I want to knit that scarf. xoxo

Gordon said...

I wore the beautiful scarf today with my new North Face brown jacket and got many compliments on the scarf. I walked into Grand Rabbits, a great toy store, and a cute young mother with two kids raved about the scarf. Of course I told her my amazing daughter made it for me.

I too wept at the post. Your children, especially Oz, are so forunate to have you as a mother. I know you will research and reseach and "leave no stone unturned" to get that precious little guy the help he needs.

How nice of Barbara to get you started knitting, and is one tough lady and a pleasure to know.

You are right, last year WAS really crappy, but there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

I LOVE you tons and am so proud of the wonderful daughter, mother, and wife you are.

Much love,
Mom

Gordon said...

I just read Robyn's comment when I checked to see if I had been able to publish my comment.
I too would LOVE some Zaytoons! Yum!!!!!
mom

Yah Yah said...

I'd like to order a sweater for my birthday, March 3rd. Is that enough lead time??? Can't wait for the "detox: the carnivore's dilemma" post.

Love you more than hot cocoa on a snowy Saturday with unwatched episodes of GLEE and Parenthood and nothing to do!!!!

eryka said...

Sara, you do everything with such grace. I love the scarf but even more I love that this year will be a little easier.

being me said...

Sara, you inspire people to want to do nice things for you. I am so lucky to call you friend--and so happy to have you as a fellow knitter. How's the next scarf coming?

mogley17 said...

i love you sara