Knitting projects acquire a history. Their life spans the time from yarn selection to the final seaming.
As a project grows, the season may change, a holiday may pass, or something I am dreading will be overcome. I estimate how long the project will take and run through the future weeks or months in my mind. I place myself in that future date. Sometimes I am cast into the unknown.
This coat began in early June. I grabbed one of the final days before Summer vacation when both O. and A. were in school to go buy my yarn.
The receipt from the shop for my yarn was dated June 2nd. Two days before O. finished Second Grade, 3 days before her 9th birthday, and 4 days before her all-day birthday party in the back yard.
It was also 10 days before A.'s IEP meeting with the School District to begin transitioning him for September to a new school.
When it was time, I packed up most, but not all, of the green alpaca for our annual Cape May vacation. I took comfort in the knowledge that we were staying within walking distance of the yarn shop in case I needed their expertise.
I did indeed. I learned that the length of the gauge swatch matters just as much as the width. It was in Cape May that I unraveled the first half of the back of the coat when I realized it would be too big. Each project I learn something new, even if it means feeling a little foolish.
After 8 Summers in Cape May, we decided to visit the alpaca farm that every year I read about. Unexpectedly, I ended up in a conversation with one of the owners about their deceased son. She looked at A. and wished us good luck with him on our way out. Then she told me about her son who died in childhood of a fatal form of a related disorder to A.'s. I think of this couple often, and all sorts of emotions stir.
The coat grew over the rest of the long, stressful Summer that was dominated by anxiety of where A. would go to school.
I was only working on the coat in the evenings after O. and A. were asleep, and Husband and I would sit and watch baseball or a show. Any weekend babysitting time was spent working in the garden or hanging out at the pool club with O.
On I knitted, evening after evening, through the second season episodes of Mad Men, the first season of McCloud's Daughters. Through the good news that A. could go to the School for the Blind.
I knitted while wrestling with my "great matter", and the conflicting feelings brought on by the changing plans of re-located close friends, and O.'s best school friend. They were back to visit, but with dual vacation plans there wouldn't be much time to see them before they left again. Yet, they might stay for good. Not sure. Yes, they were staying, but bf was changing schools. I worried for O.
I was still knitting as O. happily returned to school, and A. finally started. The evenings were chilly, and we started closing the windows at night. October came, and I knew I would finish in time for the leaves to drop and soup to be made. I needed to buy more yarn to finish. 2 skeins. I even found the same dye lot. Finally, before Halloween, it was time to buy my buttons. I was almost shaking to be in the yarn store with my coat, all in one piece. There were ooohs and aaahs. Mostly, I think over seeing that beautiful yarn in use.
And then one evening, a weekday evening like maybe 120 before it, I stood up holding the whole thing. Buttons and all. Husband took it and helped me put it on.
"It's heavy", he said. Indeed it is. Heavy with more than than the 12 skeins of alpaca yarn and 3 wooden buttons it is made from.
I wore it last Saturday evening when we went out to the Spring Mill Cafe for dinner. It's a little longer than it appeared in the book, but it felt so soft and warm.
I felt a little glow of pride. I will wear it's complications of craft and history well.