We are honored this week to have a guest post from our dear shop friend Annie, who recently lost her father and wanted to knit for the people who cared for him.
The week after my Dad died, I went to Natural Stitches for “Saturday Ritual” with a friend–the gym, coffee, and time after at Natural Stitches. Try to maintain routine, you’re told.
Yvonne and Jenn gave me wonderful hugs, tucked me into my favorite chair, and the yarn community wove about, people hunting for yarns, knitters in the rocking chairs telling stories, talking about their knitting, giggling over silly twitters.
Knitters are ok with someone with their nose stuck into their knitting–could be counting carefully a hard pattern. I could drift in and out of listening, or into my own reveries. A fine place to be. I thought back over the weeks before my Dad died, the greatness of hospice and the four women who gave my Dad 24 hour care, so he could spend his last time in his own apartment, going to his beloved play readings, opera movies, French reading class, sit at table with his friends. The caretakers did so much more than “just” their job–they truly were care givers, who wanted to make my Dad as comfortable and as cheerful as he could be. As I watched others knit, I realized that knitting something warm for them would be good.
And it was. We all got into the hunt for The Perfect Yarns, pulling out all sorts of possibilities. The time spent knitting was a wonderful way to think back over my life with my Dad, and remember all the things he taught me to love–music, travel, and a love of language.
In thanksgiving for the four women who gave my Dad such on and beyond 24 hour care during his last 6 weeks:
- a green shawl, for Inez, the minister, who gave my Dad hope for his last journey;
- a golden shawl for Felicita, who saw my Dad into the light;
- a blue shawl for Sharon, who shared my Dad’s love of ocean travel;
- and a red shawl, my Dad’s favorite color, for dear Ophelia, who took Dad out daily for the sky, the birds and the flowers, and gave him joy and a sense of being one with the universe.
- black LONG scarf, for the tall concierge at my Dad’s assisted living building, a guitarist, who got things done by YESTERDAY and always had time to enjoy discussing music and the theater with my Dad.
All shawls made bigger than the original patterns–the caretakers were all tall women.
Red shawl, Blue Sky’s Alpaca Silk in Ruby. Overlapping diamonds shawl, with a border added akin to traveling woman, “remathed” to fit.
Blue shawl, Scarlet Fleece’s Ewe Silky Thing in Pacific, and some mohair from the stash. Holden shawlette, with crocheted picots on the end.
Golden shawl, Island Yarn Niki in goldenrod. Traveling Woman.
Black scarf, Cascade’s eco alpaca, the “real” black of the critter, not dyed. basket weave pattern with a small garter stitch border.
Green shawl, Dream in Color Smooshy, in Green Lantern. Peasant shawl.