Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Memory Infused Knitting

I find that when I knit an item, the item becomes interwoven with a place, person or event. For example, my little gray children's hat based on the Tortillon pattern, was mostly knit during a recent trip to Cape Cod.  When I see the hat in my gift stash, it conjures up memories of a pleasant rainy & chilly weekend of wandering about Provincetown galleries, seafood lunch at the Lobster Pot and whale watching from the beach with friends.

And no one but me knows that each time I look at the brightly colored Babette blanket on my sofa, I am actually seeing a week long offshore kayaking trip to Maine a few summers ago. Sitting in the tent crocheting, in the car, on the kayak. A whirl of the ocean, Maine Woods, landing the kayak on rocky shoreline in rough conditions, waves, fog, using dead reckoning navigation when the GPS conked out.

Sadly, the most recent project (pics here), the Murcia shawl, knit in the lush alpaca blend of Cascade Eco Duo, will always be the Aunt Pat shawl. You see I knit most of it while traveling to and from the nursing home to see someone almost unrecognizable from pain and paralysis.  She is actually Robert's Aunt, but someone who I looked forward to visiting each summer. As timing would have it, I will probably knit the final edge of the shawl this Friday on the drive home from her funeral. And when I wear it be reminded of the laughing, smiling person who held annual family pool  & BBQ parties.

So when you see someone wearing a handmade item,  be aware that it isn't just knotted together fiber they have on, but they may actually be wearing a memory as well.


  1. I love it! How true it is when it comes to knitting.

  2. Yes, this sort of thing happens to me, quite often, though much of my knitting has been for others. When I think of the piece, I remember something from that period - sad, happy, peaceful, it depends. I am sorry that you lost Aunt Pat.

  3. i love this transformative quality of knitting.
    Pain becomes beauty.
    Love becomes tangible
    Fear becomes a blanket you can wrap yourself in, and snuggle up in.

    Knitting might be like yoga--but for me, its also like prayer. I change yarn into sometning--and doing that changes me, too.

    Aunt Pat is going to have a wonderful memorial