Knitting & My Old Heart

So here we are at January 2, 2016.

I spent my new years sober, driving around a beautiful diesel pick-up bringing drunk people safely back to their homes from a very merry party. Parts of it were good, it’s nice to be surrounded by cheery drunk people. Parts of it felt like something was missing, apart from the obvious (alcohol) I felt it in the moments where everyone kissed in the new year and drunkenly held each other dancing, watching starry eyed, sparkly fireworks. I felt the loneliness at the sidelines, waiting for me to let it in full on. I didn’t, “It’s just another day, who cares” I told myself. It is just another day. I ended up sleeping the entire New Years Day, apart from waking up in the evening -starving, driving to town picturing a nice romantic dinner for one. “I’ll have the salmon” I imagined myself saying, whilst tippity typing away on here to my hearts content. The only place open was subway. They were closing right after they rang me through the till. I sadly sat in my truck while I devoured more sub then I’d like to admit. I went home thinking I would knit the night away, only to find that three hours into that I was ready for sleep again. I feel like yesterday was a dream. Ah, but at least there was knitting. Blessed knitting, and a cow moose and calf that popped in to say hi.

Blood-shot at 5:30am the next day, warming up the cabin for the day (night? sleep?)


Knitting to me feels like an age-old art. I can picture women through time knitting the same stitches, finding my thoughts drift to not only those women before me but to men that have had a part of my heart. I don’t know why it is that knitting brings that out of me. I picture those women and I, peering back on our work, admiring our even stitches and then letting our minds drift back. Something you do to let your mind go calmly through your thoughts.

I like to get seriously whimsical and folky. You know how some people go crazy for star-wars? startrek? Doctor Who? (That last one I’ll admit I go bloody crazy for too) I go for some good ol’ folk, a good knitting pattern, a cup of tea (I’ve definitely drank beer and knit before – honestly, beer + knitting = more romantic mind drift) and a warm spot to curl up and nerd out. I’m talkin’ Gillian Welch, Dave Rawlings, Townes Van Zandt, Karen Dalton and yes, Alela Diane. I’m talking cable knits, in the round and any new stitches I can learn. I’ve got a pinterest board loaded with patterns to try, stitches to learn. At the moment I’ve been addicted to this pattern, and am learning to knit sweaters. I’ve started with a baby sweater, with thin skinny little wool in an almost honey color. As an avid crocheter of chunky quick wool, thin honey yarn is teaching me patience. It’s teaching me to appreciate the work that goes into such a timeless project.

Working away on my magical little cable-knit creation I picture the women before me in lamp-lit kitchens, humming, or sitting next to a warm stove, working away on a pair of mittens, a pair of socks for the baby on the way, a hat for their lover at sea. Remembering times together.. remembering a song they heard together, a bathtub shared in candlelight, in the silent folds of a cold fall night. Of warm starry-eyed campfires together, arms holding each other firm. A partnership bound in trust and love. Ah yes, that goes into the knits and purls as they work their way through that turn in the heel, that gusset for the thumb. Oh my heart, my old heart..

“Oh my Mama
She gave me these feathered breaths
Oh my Mama
She told me use your voice,
My little bird

She said sing sing sing sing sing sing melodies
And she sang sang sang sang sang sang melodies

Oh my Mama
She did give me fancy feet
I’ll be dancing on
And I’ll tap tap tap my toes
Into those creaking floorboards

Oh my Mama
She took my little hand and held on tight
Oh the Mamas
Give the waters of their wells
Oh the Mamas
Give the babies this very dirt we’re walking on
Oh my Mama
She gave me these feathered breaths
And your Mama
She gave you those feathered breaths too

And when the sky drops all those feathers
And when the birds sing in the morning
I’ll be a mama
I’ll have a daughter
I’ll be a mama
I’ll have a daughter

And I’ll give her melodies
I’ll give her melodies

And she’ll be
My little bird
And then she’ll fly
She’ll fly”

“Oh My Mama ” – Alela Diane


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