It has been over two years since COVID started and while we are still under this pandemic I look back at how our lives have changed...
We have all seen our lives change in one way or another and I believe that grief is something that we have all experienced during this time. We have lost family and friends over this virus and it seems that we went from grieving a loved one and soon after grieving another one. This has happened so much during these two years and sometimes we have felt like we could not endure more loss.
In this Blog post I will just focus on a few knitting projects that I worked on during my time of grief and maybe you are able to relate as to how you choose projects when you are just feeling so down.
When my grandfather passed away, it was just heart wrenching... without going into details, he died from Covid, alone in a hospital and every day we would get reports and the stress, the worry, the sadness of knowing his family could not be there was just too much to bear. Needless to say, watching his funeral through Zoom was just not natural. Just a handful of family members were allowed to be in the cemetery while the rest of us had to just watch through a camera. We could never hold his hand but just send audios that the nurses would play for him and we just hoped he would be able to listen.
For a while it was hard to focus on my Creative business... that was normally a time when Ready to Ship pieces had to be made for my Website, for the Live Sales I was hosting every month and well, for us Knitters or crocheters, the month of December is one of the busiest months of the year.
I realized soon enough that I just could not push things, that time was needed to grief, to be with family, to comfort and be comforted and just to try to learn to live with the pain.
At that time, I did not feel like knitting much but when going through some of the yarn I had set aside to work on a few projects, I felt like working on one of them... a fair isle design that needed three colors, that was so very pretty and the one I thought would keep my mind off of things for a little while since it required a good level of concentration.
Here is a picture of the work in progress:
And here are a picture that show you the final look:
This is the Gleoi beanie designed by Ysolda and the yarn is Merino Wool from Lion Brand Yarn (you can see it in the affiliate link here). I loved to see the contrast in between the three colors so much and the fact that with every single round you could see the pattern taking shape, it gave me that feeling or motivation to keep going until the final look was revealed.
It took me a few weeks to finish it but the times that I could get to it were enjoyable.
After being done with this piece, I was just not feeling like knitting much at all but there were times where I did and I just did not know what to work on. So, I started organizing my yarn stash and asked my daughter to choose some colors to make her a scarf. I had put aside partial skeins of Merino Wool from Knit Picks and she saw how pretty they all looked together. My daughter started talking about her favorite colors from these small group and we talked about the style of scarf she would like.
It was easy to decide what cable to work with to end up with a pretty texture and for the colors to flow easily. Cable work is one of my favorite techniques to use in my knitting. That touch of elegance and sophistication was always mesmerizing to me since I first started knitting and I remember thinking that I would never be able to make them. How wrong I was!
It is not hard at all and it does not matter the level of difficulty of a cable, they all add so much to a piece.
The repetitive work of working on the cables for this scarf felt soothing... the pattern was easy to memorize, I loved the end result, my daughter did too and then I decided to publish it for those adventurous beginner knitters or for those experienced ones that just wanted to work on so many cables in a relaxed way.
And this is always the reason for releasing a new pattern: If I found it to be enjoyable, if it added in a positive way to my Making time, I share it in the hopes that some Knitters would feel similar feelings. The pattern for The Deep Woods Scarf is a free pattern found here.
With this project and seeing the excitement on my daughter's face every time a color block was finished, I found that little by little the joy of knitting started to come back.
Nothing else felt motivating at the time... the fact that new pieces were not being made to sell to those that support my handmade business or the fact that financially I could see that the season was not going as well as it should, not even that motivated me to work as I had planned.
What felt soothing at the time was just to knit without any pressure... just for the joy of knitting and to share beauty.
If you would like to read more about The Deep Woods Scarf you may go here.
I was very pleased when the Gleoi beanie was sold to one of my neighbors and now I have the chance to see it out and about in my town... if like walls, knit pieces could talk, they would have quite the stories to tell.
In recent weeks we lost my father in law unexpectedly and the pain is still very raw... for about two weeks I hardly touched any projects or even felt like knitting but we were getting close to the date where we would Commemorate Jesus' death and a time where we continue to meditate on why he had to die for us and how we all benefit from his sacrifice. For this event we were going to go to our Kingdom Hall to celebrate it for the first time since the pandemic started and like last year, I wanted to make a dress for my daughter.
If you have been following me on Instagram, I chose The Willa tee pattern from @this.bird.knits and I modified the pattern slightly to turn it into a dress for my daughter and I made the tee without any modifications for me. Here is a picture:
I worked with yarn from @sugarplumcircus for my daughter's dress and yarn from one of my crates from @knitcrate to make my Willa tee.
This year my cutie chose the same pattern but she made a drawing where she showed me how she wanted the bottom of the dress to look like. You may see a Reel I made for Instagram where you can see her drawing, here.
Again, her excitement to choose the yarn she wanted, to wear a dress that was going to be modified to her liking, that did it for me. She ended up choosing Cotton yarn from Lion Brand yarn... to be more specific, Cotton-fetti. It had all her favorite colors and I started to look forward to get this yarn and start making her drawing a reality.
With all respect to Annie, the designer, I just made the modifications at the bottom of the dress. I knitted the tee according to the pattern and just kept knitting it until the desired length, added German Short rows in the back of the dress so it would be longer than the front and then increased stitches to make the ruffle.
It was quite the moment when we all saw that it was exactly how my cutie wanted it... it looks just like her picture and to see her eyes so wide and bright was exactly what I was hoping and looking for.
The unexpected part: it was a little big on the top. Her words: "I grow so fast that I will for sure wear it in the next few months". The pattern is oversized so I am sure it will fit her soon and she will wear it for a while too until it gets to be not comfortable or long enough anymore. Now we wait patiently... but this process did not stop here.
I was actually so surprised that in the middle of all the sadness I was actually looking so forward to work on this piece and I had enough yarn to make her the actual tee... so I cast on The Willa tee once more and made it for her to wear on the Memorial of Jesus' death with a skirt. Here you can see the Willa tee:
While working on this tee, which after working on the lace yoke it just flies through the needles in such a relaxing, soothing way, I was thinking that it would be sweet if my mom would wear hers the next time we see her and we will all match.
We haven't seen my mom in over two years and I think that this would be a very special piece to share.
There is no need to question if I made her one too. I did and I look forward to give it to her when we see each other again.
Grief is a process that we are never prepared for. It is just unnatural to loose a dear one, it is something none of us should go through and a process that cannot be rushed. As a family, we find comfort in the promises God gave to us in the Bible of the hope of being reunited with our dead loved ones when the resurrection happens here on the Earth... when we get to live under perfect conditions and the possibility of life without end as Jehovah originally purposed. This hope helps us to put things into perspective, this hope helps us when we feel down and cry and cry and then imagine, just imagine how it will be like to embrace each one again. This hope carry us through and sharing it with others gives us comfort. We know that every day that passes is one day closer to enjoy them again, one day closer to see Revelation 21: 3-5 being fulfilled.
We go for walks, hikes, go chase a sunset, read the Bible and talk about it, find real comfort in prayer and close friends and enjoy as much family time as possible. All of this is helping us to continue to find joyful moments in the day, making sure of the most important things.
What I have noticed in the last two years is that in these moments of grief, what motivates me is to give... to add something to the day of a loved one, to a friend, it might be a surprise beanie, it might be cookies, a painting, to stay more in touch, to send more cards or write more letters, or to share a Knitting Pattern with other Knitters that knit to find moments of calm and enjoy the beauty in the process.
If you are inclined to share your thoughts, I would love to read them and get in touch with you.
Thank you for being here...