Recently I read a nice piece on knitwear designer and teacher, Ann Budd. In it she mentions, “People talk about how knitting kind of saves their lives in times of stress," when discussing learning how to knit as a young girl while living in Switzerland.
I read that and immediately thought how I could relate to that statement. Recently my sister (half-sister), Gina, passed away suddenly. She was found unresponsive in her apartment by her only son and his fiancé. Gina was rushed to the local emergency room via paramedics, and held on long enough for all of our family to gather and wait in the ICU waiting room.
Fortunately, I had a fun skein of Pancake and Lulu handspun yarn with me. It was Christmas gift from my nephew’s lovely fiancé, Veronica. As we sat by Gina's bed, my father, who will be 91 next month, helped me wind the skein into a ball. He reminisced about being a child and helping his mother wind balls of yarn for her crocheting projects. My Mom-Mom was an excellent crocheter, and I remember watching her crochet when I was a child. While looking through old photo albums we came across the image below that showed some of the doilies my Mom-Mom had made. The lovely woman in the photo is my Aunt Grace. She taught Gina how to crochet, and then my sister Gina taught me how to crochet when I was 7, that was the catalyst of my love for knitting.
While waiting all day for brain scan results and this-and-that results, I cried and knit. I didn’t have a pattern, but had enough to make a nice and easy twisted rib stitch cowl. I got half way through the small cowl, when Gina took her last breath that evening. She was surrounded by all of her family. Knitting saved my life, I just wish it could have saved hers.
I would love to hear some stories of how knitting has helped you during difficult times. It truly is therapeutic and has helped me in more ways than just a cozy hat or sweater to wear.
My sister Gina and I, circa 1984.