Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Click Clack, Scarves and Women

Autumn inspires me to knit. It's the swirl of cold when I walk Jake in the morning and the changing of leaves from green to crimson, yellow, gold and purple. The air has a hint of decay in it, and yet, for me it represents renewal, new beginnings. What could be fresher than the start of the school year? New Year's is a reminder to stay on track for all the things I wanted to start once 'fall' hit--after the ease and heat of summer.

But back to knitting...
I follow in the footsteps of my great grandmother, Hanna, who knitted dark green vests for World War 1 soldiers, my grandmother, Anna, knitted white cotton bandages on needles the size of a red cocktail straw for lepers, and my mother, Kay, who picks up her knitting when her arthritic fingers allow. She used to knit argyle socks for my dad, afghans, pink angora hats with white pompoms for me at the start of our New England winters, but arthritis has robbed her of long stretches of looping yarn and holding knitting needles.

I take the easy road -- I knit scarves -- just knit, no purl, no yarn over, no seed stitch, no sweaters, no shrugs, or cozy little slippers. Just knit. Twelve stitches. Size 15 needles.

I often knit when I sit in the living room listening to the television or when my husband drives. His driving makes my insides turn to jello. Knitting keeps my hands busy and my mouth shut and brings me back to another time of life--the smell of baked cookies, Mom's black speckled kitchen floor, our cat, Mittens, my children, and grandchildren. And it gives me time to think about challenges--it's another way to journal until I can get to my pen and notebook.

After giving several, make that many, scarves to each of my daughters who eventually said 'enough, Mom', I gave them to friends, but you can't keep giving scarves to people. After a while they might think I'm the crazy scarf lady or that I don't have anything else to do during the day... or night ... or anytime...

So, I'm looking for a homeless shelter where I know my scarves will be used to keep women warm. When I knit each one I offer gratitude for all I'm blessed with and offer hope that the receiver will have an abundant life soon. Once I donate them, I think it will help me sleep better at night, too, and in my teeny tiny way, I'm following in the steps of Hanna, Anna, and Kay.

Wanna write? Here's a PROMPT: This isn't the way it was supposed to turn out, I ....

11 comments:

Karlene said...

Ah yes Cindy, a fine memory of how bright the world felt each fall with the promise of the new school year mixed with the color and crunch of newly fallen leaves. I still sometimes deliberately walk through a fallen gathering of leaves to hear that crunch. It takes decades off my steps.

mew said...

What a delightful story of both the change of seasons and the circle of life. I love how you wove tales of your maternal heritage in with the beautiful yarn (yes, pardon the pun) of the joys of knitting and the numerous blessings in life that so many of us enjoy. Your words are a gift to all who read them. I can’t wait for more!

April said...

What a great idea! I love knitting, too, and often find that when I'm stuck on a manuscript, knitting is just what I need to shake loose the ideas.

she said...

great read! something so admirable about continuing/contributing in a creative family legacy

i think we are the blessed ones; women with talent and passions

i meet so many women who would give anything to have just one passion; one thing that really turned them on

you have knitting, writing, coaching, inspiring and more

plus.. that generous heart.

i laughed reading this too.. having made a mag time frame for just about every family member, neighbor, friend, and still making them today

but realized "hey! i haven't made cindy a mag time frame yet!"

i'm so excited. will trade you for a hand knitted scarf

love, sandra

mtw said...

Cindy -
Thanks for your story! It's definitely beginning to feel like knitting season. Time to get reacquainted with the needles!

I admire how you stick to the knitting you most enjoy...and are able to finish and share so generously with others. I've ventured too far from the peaceful scarf, and have a bag of unfinished sweater parts and unmatched socks to show for it.

Perhaps I'll kick off the new season with a "knit 15" special!

Cindy said...

Karlene
Crunch what a great word, it conjures up so many fall feelings and smells! And when I read 'takes decades off my steps' I was transported back to my own childhood--then to that of my oldest daughter--and my dad taking a picture of her buried in leaves except for her adorable face during a visit back to Massachusetts when she was about three! Thanks for the share, Karlene
~cindy

Cindy said...

mew~
Thank you ~ and love your pun you clever wordsmith you!
~cindy

Cindy said...

April
Amazing how giving yourself over to another activity can be the key to something else!! Who would have thought??? Thank you for visiting~
~cindy

Cindy said...

she said...
yes, more than one passion, I am very blessed--also confused...but mostly blessed:-) Just met with a friend of mine today who said she's been searching for her passion and still hasn't found it. Aren't we lucky to have fallen in love with words? And, I'm on for the trade anytime you are!!! You frames are fabulous...as soon as I lear I'll put your website up on my blog...people need to see how wonderful they are--for gifts or themselves...very unique..
~cindy

Cindy said...

mtw...
I mostly stick to what I enjoy because other knitting feels too complicated...I'm liking easy these days. Do pick up a pair of 15's they make knitting fun, easy and FAST!!! For those of us who like near-instant gratification, they work wonders~
Thanks, mtw
~cindy

Anonymous said...

Cindy,
Donate your knitted scarfs -- what a great idea.

I'm anxious to read your book.
Flo