So far it has been quite a ride. Known by my family as ‘the cousin most likely to give Uncle Jeff a heart attack,’ I have had many adventures: missionary work in Ireland, married on the beach barefoot, dispatching trucks and operating a forklift in a Salvation Army warehouse, DJing the drive time slot at a small radio station, bridal design and alterations, being the mother of three active children, fronting the local band ‘The Verge,’ and now dipping my toes into knitwear design. Almost never one to do things the easy way, in the midst of all these experiences it took me 11 years and 4 different colleges to earn my bachelor’s degree. I did notice how things got easier once I got around to accepting my strong tendency toward distraction. I was then able to enjoy each campus and all four of the majors I test drove before walking across the Gordon College quad to finally claim my diploma.
As my youngest children have recently outgrown their naps, I have returned to knitting something I have always loved, but have not always made time for. Wool, it turns out, is much more forgiving towards the hazards of my everyday life than the satins and lace of bridal design. A backyard chair warmed by the sun and surrounded by toddlers playing with their friends turns out to be a great place to knit.
These days it feels like knitting is a near perfect fit for my ways of thinking. Many years as a seamstress have made me aware, sometimes painfully aware, of what fabric can and just can’t do. I find that yarn can be molded in many of the ways that fabric can be cut without some of the inherent characteristics of cloth that were often in conflict with the final results that my mind imagined. I am currently exploring the benefits the stiffness created by knitting on needles two to three sizes smaller than those the manufacturers recommend creates, knitting up and down in columns instead of the traditionally accepted side to side rows, and the many ways I-cords can be well used by sneaking them in where you’d least expect to find them.
For a moment if you will, picture a small tow-haired child slightly swaying as she leans in close to a retro suitcase record player. Her eyes are closed as she fingers the clear Lucite handle, so she doesn’t see the smiling preschool teacher watching her. Slowly this teacher approaches saying gently, “The music has stopped, honey.” The bright hazel eyes that look up are slightly clouded with a mixture of both surprise and confusion as the child says, “But I can still hear it.” This way of seeing things that are not immediately obvious to those around me has stuck. It used to frighten me a bit that I was not more conventional, but that was ages ago. Now shouldering my precious patch-covered pack crammed full of memories, faith, needles, and plenty of yarn, I contentedly peer ahead ready to see where this ride will take us all next.